O’Dea criticizes new Government mortgage scheme


Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick city has said that Government policy continues to ignore the major supply issues which remain at the centre of Limerick and the country’s housing crisis.

The Deputy was responding to Monday’s announcement of a revamped mortgage scheme for low income earners. Willie O’Dea TD said, “Let no one be under any illusion, the scheme announced on Monday is an affordable loan scheme not an affordable housing one. A distinct lack of housing supply, more importantly a lack of affordable housing remains at the very core of Limerick and Ireland’s housing crisis.

“Too many of our younger generation are being priced out of the market in Limerick and nationwide. There may be some that could benefit from the scheme announced this morning but the vast majority, particularly single people and couples will not benefit due to the existing mortgage rules imposed by the Central Bank.

“If the housing supply remains in the doldrums we can expect prices to continue to rise leaving first time buyers frozen out of the market. Until there is a steady supply of houses, at prices commensurate with a person or couples income, we will never reach true affordability in our housing system. As things stand, The Minister cannot even specify the number of homes that were built last year.” He continued.

“In order to address the affordability of housing, Government must examine the cost of finance for builders, tackle planning delays and get bricks and mortar in the ground – this is the only effective way to open up home ownership. I welcome any measure that has the capacity to help first time buyers own their home; however the Minister must also be conscious of the thousands of second time buyers also who struggle to meet the 20% deposit requirement.

He concluded, “Monday’s announcement will do very little for them.”

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