September 6, 2020
Shared equity loans will not deliver genuinely affordable homes – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Eoin Ó BroinResponding to newspaper reports today suggesting the Minister for Housing is considering a shared equity loan scheme to deliver affordable homes, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin said that ‘shared equity loans will not deliver affordable homes’.

Teachta Ó Broin said: “Today the Sunday Times has a story in which Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is proposing to use state-backed shared equity loans of up to 25% of the value of the property to deliver affordable homes. The Irish Independent has a story with experts the Irish Home Builders Association calling for a Government-backed shared loan of up to 30%.

“Shared equity loans will not deliver genuinely affordable homes for working people. They will lock in unaffordable prices indefinitely. 

“Shared equity loans also transfer all of the risk onto the home buyer and the taxpayer, while also excluding large numbers of working people.

“As the equity is a percentage of the market value of the home, as house prices go up so too does the loan liability for the home buyer. If property prices crash, the taxpayer takes the hit. Meanwhile the developer is laughing all the way to the bank.

“Pushing loans of up to €400,000 onto working people is not good policy, especially when doing so is clearly a ruse to get around the central bank’s mortgage lending rules. The focus must be on bringing the price of homes down.

“The only way to deliver genuinely affordable homes at prices of €230,000 and less is to fund local authorities, approved housing bodies and community housing trusts to build and sell the properties at cost.

“Darragh O’Brien must resist industry calls for shared equity loans. Otherwise we will be returning to the bad old days of developer-led housing policy.”

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