October 2, 2020
Extending the inflationary Help to Buy scheme is not a substitute for an affordable housing plan – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Eoin Ó BroinSinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that Fianna Fáil have learnt nothing from their time in opposition and are recycling the same failed, lazy policies of the last time they were in government.

The Dublin Mid West TD was responding to media reports that the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is seeking to extend the inflationary Help to Buy scheme as his “affordable housing” plan will not be ready until 2021.

Teachta Ó Broin said: “Minister O’Brien has had a lot of false starts in terms of his much-previewed affordable housing plan.

“We had pledge after pledge when he was appointed that the scheme would be ready in September, then the autumn, and now we hear that it won’t be available until January 2021.

“Even then it looks like Minister O’Brien is ignoring the advice of the ESRI and others for the state to build affordable homes. He appears instead to be going for a publicly-funded shared equity scheme for unaffordable private sector purchases.

“This type of scheme will not make homes more affordable, it will just increase purchaser debt and is a ruse to get around the Central Bank’s mortgage lending rules.

“Fianna Fáil had one of these schemes before 20 years ago where 44% of households ended up in arrears. 

“It seems they have learnt nothing from their time in opposition. Budget 2021 should adequately fund an affordable housing scheme on public land that will actually help those who need it.

“Instead, Minister O’Brien wants to pump even more money into the Help to Buy scheme where over 40% of those who benefitted from the scheme to date already had the required deposit to secure a mortgage. 

“The government cannot bury its head in the sand and recycle the same failed, lazy policies of the last Fianna Fáil government.

“People looking for affordable homeownership deserve better than being led down the garden path by a Minister who has promised to advocate on their behalf yet looks set to disappoint.”

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