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Fianna Fáil must scrap ineffective housing infrastructure fund - Eoin Ó Broin TD

9 July, 2020 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on Fianna Fáil to scrap the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) as it hasn’t reached its targets or delivered any genuinely affordable homes.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Today I am publishing a piece of research that shows that the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) has failed to deliver any affordable housing.

“The €200m LIHAF scheme was launched in July 2016 as part of Rebuilding Ireland.

“It was promoted as a tool to unlock residential development in need of infrastructure funding and in return deliver more affordable homes.

“Four years later, despite having a target to deliver 20,000 homes by 2019, only 11% of the targeted homes have been delivered, just 2,162 units.

“8,000 of these promised new homes were meant to be more affordable units. Only 12% of these have been delivered, only 925 homes.

“Of the so-called affordable units delivered in Donbate, a three bed cost reduced unit was on sale for €380,000, at the higher end of the Department of Housing’s 2018 projections.

“In Ratoath in Meath a 10% LIHAF reduction was applied to ten units. A three bed home was on sale for between €281,490 and €299,250. This so called cost reduced units are still unaffordable for people accessing the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan.

“It is clear that LIHAF has failed to deliver any real affordable dividend and that many of the developers did not need this funding and could have used their own resources.

“If the €200m from this fund was invested as a rolling fund in the direct delivery of affordable homes by local authorities instead it could have delivered up to 3,000 genuinely homes to date with more to follow.

“The new Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien in opposition in July 2019 called for the fund to be reviewed because the slow delivery of homes 'raises serious questions around the effectiveness of the fund and its operation'.

“Minister O'Brien should scrap this fund at the earliest opportunity and re direct the funding into the direct delivery of affordable homes.”

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