Declan Breathnach TD
Louth (and East Meath)

17th May, 2018

State-led Affordable Housing Scheme must form central part of Government policy – Breathnach

– FF motion calls for use of State & Local Authority owned lands to kick-start development of affordable homes –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach has said that this Government must take real action on establishing a new State-led Affordable Housing Scheme to support those struggling to own their own home.

The Deputy was commenting following Fianna Fáil’s Private Members Business motion in the Dáil this week.
He said, “The Affordable Housing Scheme which was stood down by the Fine Gael-Labour Government in 2011 had aimed to proactively build units for sale or rent.
“Unfortunately, since then this Government has categorically failed to deliver a single affordable home. In fact, house prices have soared by 90% over the past seven years.
“We need to give those working and paying taxes the opportunity to own their own home but as house prices rise beyond all reasonable affordability, the Government needs to make immediate moves to follow through on its commitment to expedite the delivery of affordable homes.
“An Affordable Housing Scheme should be used to kick-start development of housing units in areas where supply is weakest and where prices are highest. This must involve an initial capital investment by the State and re-investing the proceeds of sales into further homes.
“Working families are priced out of the market and face house prices over 6 times the average household income. This presents them with the prospect of never owning a home.
“Additionally, I personally would love also to see a scheme where anybody who brings a site from planning through to build in two years would be refunded their development levies. Secondly, in my personal opinion from my years in politics, simple legislation should be brought before the Dáil whereby lending institutions who fail to reach a resolution with mortgage holders in negative equity should as a first port of call offer the property to the local authority at the same knock down price that the vulture funds are getting them for. The Local Authority could then engage with those home owners to allow them stay in their house at a local authority rent with a clause to enable them purchase back the house in due course.
Breathnach concluded, “Our motion this week seeks to place pressure on this Government to recognise and address the growing affordability crisis nationwide.”

-Ends-

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2 (Declan – 087 2697638)

(T) 01 6183549 (Email) declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie