Sinn Féin draft plans for affordable housing scheme

Amid reports of a stalemate of housing in government formation talks, Sinn Féin has sent a draft circular to all local authorities which it says will bring clarity to providing public housing.
Sinn Féin draft plans for affordable housing scheme
Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin issued a draft affordable housing scheme detailing how they would build thousands of affordable houses if it was in government.

Amid reports of a stalemate of housing in government formation talks, Sinn Féin has sent a draft circular to all local authorities which it says will bring clarity to providing public housing.

Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin issued a draft affordable housing scheme, seen by the Irish Examiner, detailing how Sinn Féin would build thousands of affordable houses if it was in government.

As housing continues to be a sticking point in government negotiations, Mr Ó Broin believes his solution would provide a roadmap for local councils to build public housing on public land and end current issues around affordability affecting large swathes of the country.

“Affordable housing was the single biggest issue in February’s general election," Mr Ó Broin said.

For the last four years, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael failed to deliver a single affordable home to rent or to buy.

"Neither party has published a detailed affordable housing scheme. The absence of such a scheme lies at the heart of the disagreements around public housing delivery between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Greens in their government formation discussions," he added.

Eoin Ó Broin
Eoin Ó Broin

The circular states that affordable homes for €230,000 or less would be available to purchase in Dublin, and other major urban areas for households whose gross incomes are between €45,000 and €75,000 per annum with a cut-off point of €50,000 for a single person.

Across the rest of the State, affordable homes would cost €220,000 or less.

The costs recovered would be the financing required to build the accommodation (construction, professional fees etc.) and the ongoing management and maintenance costs.

Land costs, often cited as the reason for high house prices, will not be factored in purchase price calculations. The primary source of finance for affordable housing will come from loans from a range of agencies including the European Investment Bank, and Home Building Finance Ireland.

Development levies would not be paid, and the council would be responsible for estate maintenance.

No land will be sold or transferred out of public ownership for the purpose of delivering these homes, and if an owner wishes to sell their house in years to come, they will have to sell back to within the affordable housing scheme, adjusted for inflation.

The houses cannot be sold for the purposes of renting.

In the case of affordable rental accommodation, the financing will combine a 30% Capital Advance Loan Facility from central government, combined with 40-year low-interest finance from sources such as the Housing Finance Agency and the European Investment Bank, and would see rents available for between €700 and €900 per month depending on house size and income.

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