Dublin Bay North TD Cian O’Callaghan has blasted Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien’s Affordable Housing Scheme because he believes it will drive up house prices.
Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson, was commenting ahead a cabinet meeting today where Minister O’Brien will bring legislation on affordable housing to Cabinet.
The Affordable Housing Bill will set out to provide for the direct building of affordable homes by the State as well as including plans for a cost rental scheme and a new shared equity scheme.
The legislation will require 10% social homes and 10% affordable homes in housing developments in every local authority area.
“The ‘shared equity’ scheme will drive up house prices,” Deputy O Callaghan said.
“It happened when the scheme was introduced in England and it will happen here.
“It is more of the same, failed, developer-led policymaking that characterised the Celtic Tiger era.
“We need an urgent change of direction.
“The Central Bank, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and ERSI have raised serious red flags about the ‘shared equity’ proposals. You have to ask why is the Minister for Housing not listening to their expert advice? We know big developers have been lobbying heavily for this scheme. Are they the only ones who have his ear?
“High house prices are not an accident. They are a direct result of government policy. This Bill should be renamed the Unaffordable Housing Bill.
“Last week in one day, in one town, one vulture fund bought up three times more houses than the government’s affordable scheme is going to deliver this year – across the entire country.
“The scale of the government’s effort, and ambition, is tiny.
“If we want genuinely affordable homes, the State must directly build thousands of them and sell or rent them at cost.”
“The government is considering the Affordable Housing Bill at its cabinet meeting today and I am calling on all of the members of cabinet to halt the Minister for Housing’s flawed plans. It’s not too late for the ‘shared equity’ scheme to be scrapped.”