Govt Accused Of 'Refusing' To Deliver Affordable Homes

Sinn Féin has challenged the government over what Eoin Ó Broin TD has described as a "refusal to deliver genuinely affordable homes".

Deputy Ó Broin, Sinn Féin's spokesperson on Housing, said that on Morning Ireland this morning reporter Louise Byrne revealed that the Department of Finance had raised concerns about the Department of Housing's revised Council Loan Scheme.

Deputy Ó Broin said: "The government has not yet grasped the scale of the housing affordability crisis.

"This day two months ago Minister Murphy announced his affordable homes initiative. The reality is he renounced the €25 million fund for local authorities to deliver affordable homes.

"There were no details, no timelines, and certainly no targets. He also renounced the long promised but not yet delivered cost rental pilot, again no details, no timelines and no certainly no targets.

"The revised Council Loan Scheme was Minister Murphy's silver bullet to deal with the affordability crisis.

"A scheme which does nothing to lower the cost of purchasing a home but risks burdening modest income families with unsustainable loans to purchase overpriced homes. 

"It also breached the central bank mortgage lending rules.

"It turns out the Department of Finance shared similar concerns about this scheme.  In a written response to the Department of Housing it said that, 'the rationale for the measure was unclear'.

"And it involves 'significant risk exposure for the state', plus it 'would do nothing to increase housing supply at a time when supply not demand is the problem'.

"The Tánaiste today dismissed the Department of Finance's concerns using the term 'conspiracy theories'.

"Such flippant disregard for the concerns of the Department responsible for spending taxpayer's money highlights this government's preference for press announcements over taking substantive action on the Housing affordability crisis."


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