Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that Minister Darragh O’Brien’s ‘lame-duck’ shared equity loan scheme must be scrapped.
The call comes after revelations that nine Fine Gael councillors have written to the Minister for Housing urging him to scrap the scheme because it will push up house prices.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“Minister Darragh O’Brien’s flagship housing policy has been dealt another blow when yesterday it was revealed that nine Fine Gael councillors on Dublin City Council have written to him urging him to abandon the scheme, amid fears that it will push up house prices.
“The councillors’ comments come on foot of widespread concerns with the scheme from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Economic and Social Research Institute and the Central Bank.
“The proposed scheme is based on a similar scheme in England and Wales that has pushed up house prices by 6% in high-demand areas like London and stimulates increased housing supply in the wrong locations. The English and Welsh scheme has also seen 60% of the funds go to people who had sufficient mortgage finance to buy without the shared equity loan.
“It is now clear that Minister O’Brien’s shared equity loan scheme is a lame-duck and must be scrapped. The Fine Gael councillors’ proposal to divert the €75 million allocation to the shared equity loan to the Serviced Sites Fund for local authority led affordable homes is a good one. This would allow 100% public housing to be developed on the Oscar Traynor Road site in north Dublin.
“Only a significant increase in capital investment in affordable homes to rent and buy for working people will address the housing crisis. We need thousands of such homes delivered every year led by local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies and Community Housing Trusts.
“Minister O’Brien needs to listen to the expert advice on his lame-duck shared equity scheme. He must remove this proposal from the current draft of the Affordable Housing Bill and focus instead on public homes being delivered on public land at prices that working people can afford.”