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Calls to remove proposed reckless scheme in Government vacant plan

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The opposition has called on the Minister of Housing to abolish the proposed equality scheme in the Governments’ plan for vacant houses.

his comes as the Irish Independent revealed that the Central Bank has doubts about the scheme in the Affordable Housing Act, proposed by Housing Minister Darragh OBrien.

Sinn Fin housing spokesman Eoin Broin has called for the joint venture scheme to be completely scrapped by Bill as it undergoes pre-legislative scrutiny on the Oireachtas Housing Committee.

He said he was not at all surprised to hear that the Central Bank has serious concerns about the scheme.

We have empirical evidence to show that this scheme does not work and can be very dangerous, he said.

We know from Celtic Tiger if you increase mortgage lending in the market raises house prices. Fianna Phil, when they were last in Government, very regularly ignored the advice of experts and regulators.

Darragh OBrien is behaving exactly like his predecessors when they were in Government.

He said the scheme would have negative consequences.

This is not an academic issue. It has to do with the single largest purchase of a single person or a couple, buying their home, he continued.

For the Government to act in such a reckless way, not only is it potentially raising house prices, but it is blocking some people working with an unstable level of debt, simply reckless at the extreme.

Workers ’housing spokeswoman Senator Rebecca Moynihan also called on the Housing Minister to either reform the scheme or remove it altogether.

She said the government had a Trumpian response to the Institute for Economic and Social Research (ESRI) warning on Tuesday that it could raise house prices.

The Government’s response this week, from this Trumpian attack, coordinated to an independent institution showed a lack of willingness to get involved in the real details of the scheme and its very, very disturbing.

Ms Moynihan said the Minister is ignoring all independent advice and said postponing money to developers would not solve the housing crisis.

Meanwhile, Social Democrat housing spokesman Cian OCallaghan said that if the co-capital scheme is removed from the Affordable Housing Bill, it should not be revised.

75 million has been earmarked for that scheme but it needs to be transferred directly to rental homes of construction cost, he told Independent.ie.

He also raised concerns that the Central Bank is the second body to raise concerns about the scheme, as ESRI warned it could raise house prices.

We now have numerous reliable sources raising very strong concerns that the scheme could raise house prices. Worry is very concerned that the Minister is not listening to these concerns, he said.

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