Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

08.56 30 Jun 2020


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Affordable homes pledged by the new Government will cost between €160,000 and €250,000, according to the Housing Minister.

Darragh O'Brien says many people are "stuck in a rip-off rental trap" and the new Government wants to address that.

He told Newstalk Breakfast the aim is to "give hope" to those who may have wondered when they'll be able to afford a home.

New affordable homes will cost between €160,000 and €250,000, Housing Minister says

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He observed: "The delivery of an affordable purchase scheme for working people... it's been a big issue.

"We all know it: there's a whole lot of people who are stuck in a rip-off rental trap, or living with their folks into their late 20s and 30s, saving as much as they can.

"It will be a major focus of building affordable homes - firstly on State-owned land, where the State will subsume the costs of that land.

"You will be looking at house prices in the region of €160,000-180,000 to €230,000-250,000 on a shared equity basis. It's been done before very successfully in Ireland."

He also pledged it will be coupled with a cost or affordable rental model, saying all we've had so far in that regard is the Enniskerry Road pilot scheme which is still being developed.

Minister O'Brien reiterated that the programme for government pledges to increase social housing stock by more than 50,000, focusing on new builds.

However, he also noted that the COVID-19 crisis has impacted construction - saying he'll now be focusing on ensuring social housing isn't as badly impacted as private housing.

The Fianna Fáil minister also commented on the news yesterday that AIB had introduced a pause on lending to those receiving State subsidies due to the pandemic.

Minister O'Brien said the issue had been raised with him in recent weeks while he was still on the opposition benches.

Be observed: "I think it's the blanket nature of it, that's really the issue

"I understand financial underwriting, and why it's important and that... when someone gets a mortgage offer it is contingent on circumstances not changing.

"However, what I think isn't being done by the banks - on the anecdotal evidence I have - is they're not looking at each case. They're not looking at the employer, and that's the issue."

Main image: Housing Minister Darragh O'Brien. Photo: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

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