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Senator Victor Boyhan

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Order of Business
Snippet Contents:

I welcome Mrs. Ardagh to the Chamber.
There are five pillars of Rebuilding Ireland, namely, addressing homelessness; accelerating social housing; building more homes; improving the rental sector; and utilising existing housing stock but also, and more important, lands zoned for housing. My focus is on how we will get on with building these houses but, more important, the Land Development Agency. In September, the Government announced it would establish a land development agency but as of today we have no underlying legislation or funding for this major initiative. We do not even have a memorandum, schedule or general scheme setting out what will happen. Will the Leader find out from the Minister what the intention is regarding the Land Development Agency? It is an important body. City and county councils are asking what is happening with the agency in the context of tackling the five pillars of Rebuilding Ireland. It is therefore important we have a progress report on Rebuilding Ireland because it is an ongoing process. I would like a particular focus on the Land Development Agency and the legislative arrangements surrounding it.
I take on board what Senator Ardagh said about the Barnardos report. We all received a copy of it yesterday or today. It is an important report and the facts it points out are shocking, particularly in the very detailed infographic attached to the report. If we are to have a debate, however, I would like if we could broaden it out to include the very positive Government strategy for young children and their families which the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Deputy Zappone, circulated today to every Member of the Oireachtas. While we can acknowledge there are shortcomings, we must also look at the very positive things in this document, which will have arrived on everyone's desk today. There is a lot of meat and positivity in it. It is a longer plan for the next five to ten years, but we should have a debate both on the Barnardos report and the Minister's views on this visionary document.