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Credit Unions could fund thousands of extra Social and Affordable Homes – Ó Broin

4 July, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Speaking during the Housing Committee hearings on credit union financing of social and affordable housing, Deputy Ó Broin called for ‘Government to allow Credit Unions to make available the hundreds of millions of euros they have available for the provision of social and affordable housing’.

The Irish League of Credit Unions told the committee they can led between €173m to €520m a year to provide much needed homes. 

Respond, Clúid, Oaklee, and Co-operative housing confirmed that they could use this funding to provide thousands of additional social and affordable homes every year.

The Dublin Mid-West TD said:

“These would be in addition to existing targets contained in the Government’s Housing Action Plan and provide up to 15,000 social and affordable homes.

“The discussion surrounding utilising credit union finance for social housing has been going on for years with little movement in the right direction to date.

“AHBs are not supposed to replace local authority social housing provision but they are in a position to complement it. We are in the midst of a housing crisis and Sinn Féin believe that with access to the appropriate finance the larger AHBs should be in a position to deliver an additional 2,000 to 4,000 real social housing units a year. 

“The government is not stepping up to its responsibilities either on the delivery of social housing or the roll out of affordable housing. It is not focused on the housing crisis in hand. This not helped by the revolving door of housing Ministers and from the conflicting, confused messages coming from the new Minister for Housing on the issue of bedsits. 

“We need to explore every option open to us in order to deliver good quality affordable homes for people. The creation of a specific credit union fund from which tier three AHBs can apply, on a rolling basis, for loan finance for the purchase, renovation and/or building of social housing is a feasible option. The proportion of funding provided by the credit union would either be on a 100% basis or a 70% basis. In the case of the latter, the Department of Housing would provide the remaining 30% through the existing AHB funding mechanisms already well established. 

“With the government failing to deliver and with credit unions and AHBs in a position to pick up the slack, we need to make the regulatory changes necessary to simply deliver more homes.”  

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