A little more than 30 acres of publicly-owned land in Laois towns and villages is designated for housing in a map published under a the scheme announced by the Government to tackle the housing crisis.
However, the total is a small fraction of the 336 hectares (830 acres) of land in Laois that is zoned for housing according to Laois County Council estimates. If developed this land could accomodate more than 5,000 homes.
Mr Simon Coveney TD Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, the launched Rebuilding Ireland Housing Land Map. It is described as a vital initial step in the new State Housing Land Management Strategy.
The list for Laois identifies 22 small sites which in total cover just 30.12 acres.
The publication of the list follows on quickly from Census 2016 figures which reveal a hike in Laois rents and a fall in the building of new homes in the county.
The figures for Laois published by the Central Statistics Office show that there were 28,997 permanent occupied dwellings in April 2016, compared with 27,916 in April 2011.
The rate of increase was 3.9%, considerably slower than the 2006-2011 rate of 24.5%. The vancancy rate dropped.
In Laois, 7,406 households were in rental accommodation in 2016, compared with 6,720 in 2011.
The average rent paid to private landlords was €134.01, an increase on the 2011 figure which was €122.53. The home ownership rate for Laois was 72.0%, compared with 74.4% in 2011.
Laois’ housing stock grew to 32,794 from 32,664 in April 2011, an increase of 0.4%.