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Commission review of State’s housing policy a ‘mixed bag’ – Ó Broin

8 March, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin TD and Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has called the leaked contents of latest European Commission post-programme surveillance report a “mixed bag” in terms of its view of the housing market. 

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The European Commission report has criticised the Government’s Help to Buy scheme. The view of Commission is that the scheme will facilitate further property price increases. We did not need the European Commission to tell us something we already know. At the time the scheme was launched, Sinn Féin criticised the policy stating that government policy must focus on making homes affordable not increasing personal debt. The Governor of the Central Bank stated his concerns at the time, as did many experts. 

“In response to Budget 2017, I called on Minister Simon Coveney to publish any research his Department has that convinced him that this scheme was a good idea. I would like to reiterate that call today.

“The Commission criticism of the introduction of a limited form of rent control is wide of the mark. The introduction of rent pressure zones was the bare minimum the Government could have done to limit unaffordable rent hikes and it stills allows landlords to raise rents by 4% per year.

“The research the Commission cites, that states rent controls have a destabilising impact on the housing market in other European Cities, is one research paper. There have been countless human stories about the destabilising impact of unaffordable rents on families, students, and single people seeking to secure a roof over their heads. There will be consequences in the coming of years of the destabilising impact rising rents had on the 2,407 children currently living in emergency accommodation.” 

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