Cost rental scheme welcome but the devil will be in the detail

Senator Rebecca Moynihan
14 December 2020

Labour Housing Spokesperson, Senator Rebecca Moynihan has welcomed an announcement by Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien of a cost rental scheme of 350 homes by the end of 2021. 

Senator Moynihan was speaking after Minister O’Brien issued a ‘Call for Proposals’ for his Department’s new Cost Rental Equity Loan(CREL) scheme. The fund will support Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) to deliver approximately 350 cost rental homes next year.

Senator Moynihan said:

“I would broadly welcome today’s announcement. The Labour Party believe that the state should be the lead provider of housing and believe that the Government should place much more of an emphasis on cost rental.

“While I wholeheartedly welcome progress in this area, I do have a number of concerns that 25% below the open market value will still mean rents for prospective tenants will be too high given how high rents have climbed in recent years, particularly in Dublin.

“The ESRI also announced that 28,000 new houses will be required to be built each year over much of the next two decades if the country’s housing needs are to keep step with population growth with up to 33,000 new homes required each year if immigration is higher than expected.

“This means that while today’s announcement is a definitive step in the right direction the Government are still not building enough direct build social and affordable housing and passing large amounts of money to developers will not solve Irelands rental crisis.

“If the Government are serious about fixing the housing crisis then they need to significantly ramp up direct build social and affordable housing. Relying on the private sector and developer led planning will not deliver the additional homes needed.

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