Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has labelled the Minister for Housing’s assertion, on two different occasions, that his developer-led shared equity scheme has been approved by the Central Bank, as “misleading”.
Teachta Ó Broin said it is “bizarre that the Minister is unaware of the status of a key piece of his ‘Housing for All’ plan”.
The Dublin Mid-West TD said:
“It is disappointing that the Minister for Housing has now claimed, on two separate occasions that the controversial Shared Equity Loan scheme has been approved by the Central Bank, when this is not the case.
“On the 24th of June last, the Minister stated clearly in the Dáil that:
‘This shared equity scheme is focused on those who need it most. It will work. It has been passed by the Central Bank, has received approval….’
“On foot of this claim, I put a query into the Central Bank and they came back to me on the 5th of July stating that:
‘The Central Bank awaits finalisation of the precise design of the proposed scheme [and public communication around its parameters by those designing the scheme], but the framework for considering the interaction of the proposed scheme with the mortgage measures remains consistent with what was outlined in the correspondence between the Central Bank and the Oireachtas Committee on Housing in March’.
“Then on Primetime on the 2nd of September when he went out to defend his Housing for All plan, Minister O’Brien yet again claimed that his scheme has been approved by the Central Bank, stating:
‘The Central Bank of Ireland have approved the shared equity arrangement, and it is a way of people bridging that affordability gap’.
“It is bizarre that the Minister isn’t up to date on the status of a key part of his Housing for All plan.
“It is even more troubling that, a year after it was first announced, the details of the scheme have not been finalised, nor submitted to the Central Bank.
“These kind of delays have become the hallmark of Darragh O’Brien’s tenure as Minister.
“Sinn Féin remains convinced that the Shared Equity Loan scheme will push up house prices further, making it even more difficult for working single people and families to buy their own home.
“The scheme should be scrapped, and the funding diverted into the delivery of genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy.”