Ringfence 30% of developments for first time buyers, say FF

Ringfence 30% of developments for first time buyers, say FF

Up to 30% of units in new housing developments should be set aside solely for first time buyers.

That's according to Fianna Fáil who have launched legislation which they say will guarantee more young people get a home as opposed to vast investment funds buying up developments.

Housing spokesman Darragh O'Brien said that thousands of apartments had been bought by big funds and struggling first time buyers were them being sold.

The Dublin Fingal TD said: “The falling rates of homeownership as the consequence of Fine Gael government policy has been to shove a whole generation of people into a rip off rental rental market, and actually allow the dream of homeownership to slip further and further away from working people in this country.

And we have now seen that Ireland falls behind the EU average in homeownership rates, and that's continuing to fall.

Under the legislative proposals, local authorities and planning authorities would be given the power to set aside up to 30% of any development for first time buyers.

Developers would then propose what level for such buyers would be included in their construction project.

However, each council would have a remit to set its own target for first time buyers.

Mr O'Brien added: “When we look at this city and and others, whole swathes of them are being bought by pension funds and embed and investment funds.

"There are situations people who are saving, scrimping and saving and paying rent of over €2200 a month, who aren't able to get on the property ladder, they're looking at new developments being built, and they're seeing that they are all being sold.”

But Fine Gael have already questioned the radical proposals.

Louth TD Fergus O'Dowd argued the idea had all the marks of “pub talk”.

He argued: “This latest one will actually incentivise institutional investors to stop providing social housing in developments, rather than do anything to help first time buyers. It does nothing for affordability, and it’s unworkable.

“This bill does the exact opposite of what it claims to do. Such poorly thought out policies are quite dangerous.”

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