Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has said the Government’s affordable housing bill poses “more questions than answers”.
Speaking as the Oireachtas Housing Committee begins the first of three pre-legislative scrutiny sessions on the draft legislation, Teachta Ó Broin said:
“I welcome the publication of the government’s long-awaited affordable housing legislation.
“Unfortunately, the draft legislation raises more questions than answers, especially in terms of household eligibility for the scheme and the costs for the cost rental and affordable purchase homes.
“Any affordable cost rental homes should be available for rent for between €700 and €900, and less outside Dublin. Any local authority led affordable purchase homes should be for €230,000, and less outside Dublin.
“If you look at the cost rental schemes currently underway, rents starting at between €1,000 and €1,300 are beyond the reach of a single person and modest income working couples.
“Similarly in terms of affordable purchase, the homes in O’ Devaney Gardens will cost first time buyers €360,000 including the shared equity cost.
“The Committee need clarity on costs when examining the draft legislation, and the Minister should publish draft regulations addressing this issue alongside this Bill when it is taken at second stage in the Dáil.
“Further in terms of the highly controversial shared equity scheme, this is the shortest section of the draft bill and elected representatives are being asked to support this without much detail.
“Similar schemes in the Britain have locked in unsustainable prices, has increased house prices in areas of high housing demand and there is genuine concern that people on modest incomes have overstretched themselves financially which could lead to mortgage distress and default.
“This shared equity scheme is a gift to developers and is Fianna Fáil dragging housing policy back to the bad old days of the Celtic tiger.”