Government desperately scrambling to shore up failing Housing plan - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has accused the Government of "desperately scrambling to shore up their failing housing plan".
The comments were made in response to news that Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien is to bring a memo to Cabinet changing a number of existing housing schemes.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
"Over the weekend it was reported that Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien will bring a memo to Cabinet on Tuesday with proposed changes to a number of housing schemes, including the Croí Cónaithe Towns refurbishment grant.
"This will be the third set of changes to the grant scheme that was launched last year.
"While the scheme itself is not objectionable, it is badly designed, under funded and lacks ambition. Just over 600 vacant and derelict homes are to be brought back into use a year under the scheme.
"Last year not a single refurbishment grant was drawn down. Many lenders are also refusing to allow mortgages to be drawn down until legal issues with the refurbishment grant clawback are resolved.
"Initially the scheme was restricted to small towns and villages, then it was widened to include larger towns and cities. Now the Government intends to raise the grant level.
"It is not clear whether Government is increasing the overall funding for the scheme or increasing the very modest targets.
"However what is clear is that Government is desperately scrambling to shore up their failing housing plan.
"The Government failed to meet its social and affordable housing targets for the third year in a row. Badly designed schemes including Croí Cónaithe Towns, Croí Cónaithe Cities and Project Tosaigh are also failing to deliver.
"The consequences can be seen in high house prices and rents, rising levels of homelessness and low levels of social and affordable housing output.
"Darragh O’Brien’s housing plan is not working. Tinkering around the edges of poorly designed schemes wont fix that.
"Fixing Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael’s housing crisis requires a change of Government, Housing Minister and Housing plan."