Big handouts to developers while house buyers left high and dry

Limerick Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan

A LIMERICK TD has accused Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien of giving big handouts to big developers to deliver overpriced houses while people struggling to buy their own homes are left high and dry

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday evening, Sinn Féin TD  Maurice Quinlivan called on Minister O’Brien to take necessary steps to address the rising cost of housing, as figures revealed that the government has a target of building only 264 affordable homes in Limerick between now and 2026.

“Every day my constituency office receives calls of desperation from people who have been locked out of homeownership. These are people who struggle to save a deposit, they aren’t fortunate enough to avail of a cash injection from their parents.

“According to the latest figures from the property website, a three-bed semi-detached house in Limerick will cost, on average, 10.3 per cent more than it did this time last year.

“People have nowhere to turn. On one hand, they are locked out of purchasing their own home but on the other they earn too much to avail of Council supplied housing.

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“The Social Housing Income Thresholds have not been changed since 2011. This is something that should be rectified, and the income cut off levels need to be increased to reflect inflation.”

Deputy Quinlivan said that the Sinn Féin Private Members Bill would commit the government to revising the affordable purchase home targets agreed with Local Authorities to deliver on average at least 4,000 affordable purchase homes a year from 2022 to 2026.

“The Bill also looks to end the Help to Buy scheme and Shared Equity Loan scheme which pushes up prices and diverts funding from the delivery of genuinely affordable homes.

“Steps can be taken to rectify this situation, but the Minster seems unwilling to pull those levers. We need to revise the affordable purchase home targets, local authorities must be allowed access the Affordable Housing Fund and income thresholds for Social Housing must be dramatically increased.

“The Housing Minister has guided us to higher house prices, higher social housing waiting lists and the most minimalistic approach to the delivery of Social and Affordable housing.

“His legacy is par for the course for Fianna Fáil: giving big handouts to big developers to deliver overpriced houses while people struggling to buy their own homes are left high and dry,” Deputy Quinlivan declared.