Latest Government housing proposals don’t go far enough

22 January 2018

Labour spokesperson on Housing, Jan O’Sullivan TD, has said the proposals announced by the Government today do not go far enough to address the housing crisis, that the State needs to more to proactively build affordable homes for sale or rent, and that the ‘new’ loan scheme is a rebranding of what already existed.

Deputy O’Sullivan said:

“The Government has rebranded the local authority loan scheme where people could already get loans up to €200,000 once they had a single income of less than €50,000 or joint income of less than €75,000. What has now changed is the amount people can borrow is being increased, and that the rate of interest can be fixed for the life of the loan.

“While this change is welcome and long overdue, people can’t buy affordable homes that don’t exist.

“The new Affordable Purchase Scheme does not have the structural supports required to ensure enough homes will be built. It is clear the private housing market has failed to deliver and more proactive State intervention is required.

“The Labour Party has consistently argued for NAMA to be turned into a financer, and direct builder and provider of affordable housing for sale or rent, using the expertise already in situ there, and in the Housing Agency and Housing Finance Agency.

“The proposals on an affordable rental scheme only amount to pilot schemes. This is despite work having begun on this proposal in October 2015. Over two years later we have seen little progress while rents are at all-time highs.”

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