The C&AG's report for 2022 has found that 13 years after a scheme was set up to acquire 73 land banks from local authorities for the Housing Agency, almost half of the land has no development plans or proposals for delivering social or affordable housing.

Only 676 social housing units have been developed on 15 of the sites even though in 2018 the Housing Agency had assessed there was space for 5,365 units across the 73 properties.

The reports point out there are currently 243 units in development, three sites are due to be disposed of to the Land Development Agency this year which has planning permission for 1,381 units.

Proposals to develop 13 more sites are in place, although some have not progressed in the last four years.

Another six of the sites have been disposed of to third parties for other uses, including one to a private developer on condition that housing is built within a specified timeframe.

The report also points out that from May 2024, 28 of the sites will become liable for the Residential Zoned Land Tax, which will cost the Housing Agency €1.5m a year.

The annual 3% tax based on total value of sites was introduced by the Government to encourage landowners to develop or sell land already zoned for housing.