20/06/2008

Local Authorities Could Buy Up Cheap Housing

As the fall-off in the housing market continues, local councils are being encouraged to take advantage of the discount rate and buy-up 'unwanted' homes.

As buyers 'sit on the fence', waiting for the market to bottom-out before buying, the falling value of homes could mean cheap housing resources for local government social housing requirements.

The idea was suggested by Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Beverley Flynn, who spoke on the issue in the Dáil this week during a debate on the economy.

She said: "The current market presents an opportunity, if resources were freed up to local authorities, to enable them to negotiate deals to buy up affordable houses to satisfy current demand for social housing.

"This matter should be given careful consideration."

The TD also said the proposal could spark an resurgence in the construction sector and reinvigorate the economy.

"First-time buyers are sitting on the fence while construction workers are losing their jobs and are being encouraged to work abroad.

"The Government tax take in the construction area generally, not just from VAT, is down. We need to examine some areas in order to address this situation," she said.

(DW)

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