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Government aware shared equity “affordable” home plan will increase house prices - Eoin Ó Broin TD

7 January, 2021 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has commented on information he received in an FOI request which highlights government concerns around the new affordable housing policy announced by Fianna Fáil Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“The information contained the FOI files indicate that the government was aware that Minister O’Brien’s developer-led shared equity affordable housing plan would increase house prices.

“Senior officials from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) warned that the scheme was a demand side measure which was unnecessary in the context of the housing market here given the ongoing undersupply of homes, and the proposal wasn’t sufficiently analysed.

“The Secretary General of DPER, Robert Watt, went as far as to suggest that the property industry wanted a shared equity scheme because it will increase house prices.

“Minister O’Brien ignored these warnings and ploughed on with a scheme that was proposed by developers and he packaged it as Fianna Fáil’s plan to put 'the dream of homeownership back in reach'.

“This is a fantasy. Shared equity loans do not make homes more affordable. They simply saddle working people with more debt. 

“This is Fianna Fáil doing what they do best, and instead of coming up with a genuine affordable housing scheme, they let developers roll out a scheme that will make them richer and increase prices for ordinary working people.

“This scheme should be scrapped. Minister O’ Brien needs to go back to drawing board and introduce proposals that make homes cheaper and doesn’t simply increase people’s access to credit."

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