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Shared Equity Scheme must be removed from Affordable Housing Bill - Eoin Ó Broin TD

19 February, 2021 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing Eoin Ó Broin TD has called for Minister O’Brien to "remove the controversial Shared Equity scheme from the Affordable Housing Bill until the full details of the scheme are finalised, and all advice provided to Government is published".

Teachta Ó Broin said:

"There is growing concern that the Government is ignoring expert advice on the impact of the controversial Shared Equity scheme on house prices and debt levels for borrowers.

‘Senior civil servants in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, the Economic and Social Research Council and the Central Bank have all expressed concerns with the scheme.

"However it appears that Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is ignoring this advice and ploughing on regardless. This is reckless and has all the hallmarks of how Fianna Fáil did its business when last in Government.

"The Oireachtas Housing Committee is currently undertaking Pre-Legislative scrutiny of the Government's Affordable Housing Bill, which includes powers to allow the Minister for Housing to establish the Shared Equity scheme.

"However it is increasingly clear that in the absence of the final details of the scheme the Committee is not in a position to fully assess the level of risk the scheme poses both for house prices and for home buyers.

"We still do not know if the banks will be participating in the scheme. We do not know what the interest rate on the equity loan will be. We do not know what the regional price caps will be or whether the Government will introduce an income eligibility limit.

"In light of this Minister O’Brien should remove the Shared Equity scheme section from his Affordable Housing Bill.

"If he intends to proceed with the scheme, he should introduce separate legislation and publish all advice received from Government Departments and relevant agencies so the Housing Committee and the general public can assess the scheme and its likely impact on house prices and home buyers." 

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