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SF Councillor tables emergency motion calling for establishment of Task Force to examine issue of housing affordability

31 January, 2006

SF Councillor tables emergency motion calling for establishment of Task Force to examine issue of housing affordability

Sinn Féin finance spokesperson on Dublin City Council, Councillor Killian Forde will table an emergency motion on Monday calling for the establishment of a cross party Task Force to examine the issue around affordability of housing in the Dublin City area.

Cllr Forde said "The latest house price figures for Dublin confirm the evidence of the past twelve months that runaway, unsustainable price increases has returned. The average price of a second hand home in Dublin at almost €470,000 has become well beyond the reach of a typical working couple looking to buy a first property. Over the past twelve months prices in Dublin have risen by almost 20%. The ham-fisted approach to Stamp Duty levels, the careless and unmonitored policies of the mortgage institutions and the return of investors to the 'buy to let' market have ensured the government myopic policy has contributed once again to house prices inflation."

Killian noted that "Our economic health has become dependent on house prices. Most growth and new jobs being crated are in the services sector, which is being fuelled by borrowing on equity released from overvalued property. The release of the SSIAs will artificially boost the market with couples using the money to fund deposits or Stamp Duty. By the end of the year we will have reached the preposterous situation whereby an average house will cost well in excess of a half a million euros. There is now a real threat to the economic and social fabric of the city and with this in mind I will be calling for all parties to support the establishment of a cross-party multidisciplinary task force to examine affordability on housing in Dublin City."

Councillor Forde stated that he sees the Task Force examining issues around, amongst others:

  • What are the appropriate Stamp duty rates for Dublin.
  • Identifying appropriate and targeted incentives for first time owners occupiers.
  • How do we ensure that there is proper regulation on loans from the banks.
  • What is the impact of the 'buy to let' on the market.
  • Has the Social and Affordable housing schemes played any role in the affordability of houses.

Forde added that "The Task Force on Affordability should be mandated to make practical and easy to implement recommendations to Dublin City Council and the Government that aim to reduce house price growth to sensible levels." ENDS

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