February 16, 2021
Shared equity scheme must be scrapped – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Minister O’Brien to scrap his shared equity scheme as evidence shows that it will increase house prices and will not increase affordable housing supply in high demand areas.

Speaking after the Housing Committee pre-legislative scrutiny session on the government’s new Affordable Housing Bill, Teachta Ó Broin said:

“The Housing Committee this morning recommenced pre-legislative scrutiny of the government’s Affordable Housing Bill. The ESRI, the Housing Agency and NESC presented as witnesses.

“The proposed shared equity loan scheme for private house purchases is the most concerning part of the government’s Bill.

“There is a real concern that instead of delivering genuinely affordable homes for working people, the shared equity scheme will increase house prices, without increasing supply where it is needed most.

“Furthermore, if the commercial banks become involved in the roll-out of the scheme here, there is a worry that the risk to borrowers will be too great, if the interest rates are too high.

“Rachel Slaymaker, from the ESRI was clear when she stated that analysis of a similar scheme in Britain by the London School of Economics (LSE) shows that it increased supply in the wrong areas and increased home prices in London by 6%.

“When it was put to Ms Slaymaker by government members of the committee about the findings of the National Audit Office report on the scheme in Britain, she stated that the NAO report didn’t look at impact of the scheme on house price inflation. 

“The report from the LSE indicated that the British version of the shared equity scheme made affordability worse.

“It is not too late for the Minister for Housing to take on board the concerns raised by the experts and scrap this scheme before it inflicts more affordability pressures on the housing market.”

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