Varadkar: FG have 'second chance' to solve housing crisis

Varadkar: FG have 'second chance' to solve housing crisis
Picture: Julien Behal Photography

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar says Fine Gael now has a "second chance" to solve the housing crisis and that compulsory purchase orders for development land and state-backed mortgages are on the table.

He and Tánaiste Simon Coveney have been taking questions from Fine Gael members at a virtual Special Delegate conference this evening.

The agreed coalition deal aims to add 50,000 homes to the state's social housing stock though it is not clear how many of those will be bought on the private market.

Leo Varadkar believes the shortage of affordable homes damaged his party's support among younger voters in the last general election.

"They can't actually get a mortgage or if they can get a mortgage, they can't find a house or an apartment "This is something that we are getting a second chance on, if we enter this government, to get this right over the next five years and I think we can.

Obviously supply is crucial and we will really pursue morgtgages that give people like 30-years mortgages at 2% or 3% like they have in Germany and in other countries.

"That can be done and it requires a bit of State input but it can be done."

However, Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has said it is a "reheating" of past unfilled promises.

The Dublin Mid West TD believes Fine Gael have a warped definition of the word "affordable".

"Eoghan Murphy has spent four years telling people he is going to deliver people affordable homes but when he is asked he tells people that an affordable home is €320,000.

"That is not affordable.

"Two weeks ago, I issued a very detailed draft departmental circular which I sent to every local authority in the State demonstrating how you could deliver good quality affordable homes in Dublin for €230,000."

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