May 25, 2021
Green Party leader asleep at the wheel while taxpayers’ money used to snap up family homes – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has accused Green Party leader Eamon Ryan of being asleep at the wheel as big investors snap up hundreds of family homes and charge extortionate rents.

Speaking today following Leaders’ Questions, Teachta Ó Broin said:

“Last week, the Green Party supported Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s half-hearted attempts to disincentivise investment funds from block-purchasing homes.

“The planning and tax changes will not apply to apartments and the bulk-purchase of apartments by investment funds will continue, as will the sky-high rents charged by these funds.

“Apartments are homes too.

“By facilitating the ongoing hoovering-up of new apartments by these funds, the government is ignoring the thousands of ordinary working people who cannot afford the rents they charge, and who need to live in the city centre for work.

“When I challenged Minister Ryan today on the exclusion of apartments from the new government measures, he failed to answer my question.

“It is abundantly that the Green Party leader is asleep at the wheel as big investors snap up hundreds of family homes and charge extortionate rents.

“He also failed to say whether he objected to the funnelling of taxpayers’ money to investment funds to snap up family homes, thus keeping them off the market for prospective homebuyers. 

“Last year, Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI) provided 30 loans to big institutional investors. This financed more than 56% of the homes to be built.

“Why should taxpayers’ money be used to fund wealthy developers to build and sell homes which will then be rented out at unaffordable rents?

“The Poolbeg strategic development zone, in Minister Ryan’s own backyard, is a prime example of an urban site, which will, according to the plans of the Ronan Group developing the site, be filled with unaffordable, build-to-rent apartments.

“This is not good enough. The silence from the Green Party leader on this issue confirms the fears that many had about the good intentions of the party being quashed by their senior partners in coalition.

“We need to see sustainable, affordable apartment-living in our urban centres, not swathes of empty luxury apartments.”

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