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Tax break-based incentives for affordable housing don’t work – Ó Broin

16 April, 2018 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on a story by RTE journalist Louise Byrne which revealed that a government scheme established to encourage the construction of affordable housing has not made any payments since it was launched in December 2015.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“The Development Contribution Rebate Scheme was established by the last government under then Minister Alan Kelly.

“Under the terms of the scheme, if builders were constructing more than 50 units and then selling them on in Dublin for less than €300,000 and in Cork for less than €250,000, they were entitled to apply for a refund of development levies.

“This scheme was poorly designed and the proof is that it failed to incentivise the delivery of a single affordable home despite rebates of half a million euro being available.

“The failure of the scheme demonstrates that tax break-based incentives for affordable housing don’t work.

“This government hasn’t learned this and is now instead pinning its affordable housing delivery hopes on the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund.  Where in many cases there are no commitments in place to deliver affordable homes despite developers benefitting from the state funding the infrastructure necessary to open up the site.

“The only way to guarantee the delivered of truly affordable homes for purchase between €170,000 and €260,000 is for the state to build homes on public land.

“Sinn Féin set out costed proposals in our Alternative Budget 2018 on how local authorities can drive the delivery of affordable homes for families earning between €45,000 and €75,000.

“In addition to this, truly affordable homes have been delivered in Poppintree in Ballymun using the Ó Cualann co-operative model. It can be done elsewhere.

“The government needs to move away from tax break policy and focus on funding the delivery of affordable houses via local councils.” 

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