Cian O'Callaghan TD

This is a moment of truth for the Green Party in Government

Plans for cost rental housing have been distorted by a Minister who can’t see beyond private interests, according to Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan.

“The Government is stretching the concept of cost rental to breaking point. A progressive vision for a new form of not-for-profit housing has been twisted into a for-profit model by a Fianna Fáil Housing Minister who can’t see beyond private interests.

“The cost rental model should ensure rents are kept low by linking them to the costs of construction and long-term property maintenance. Private profit is stripped out. It’s meant to be a move away from extortionate market-driven rents to provide an affordable and sustainable solution for renters.

“However, the Government’s Affordable Housing Bill allows for private investors and investment funds to provide cost rental and allows for equity returns. By any definition introducing profit into this model means it is no longer cost rental. This is a very different version of cost rental to the one articulated by the Green Party in opposition.

“In 2018 the Green Party called on the then Government to define cost rental housing “as publicly owned housing which is publicly provided on State-owned land where the rents are set on the basis of recovering the cost of the property over the lifetime of a long-term loan”.

“Have they abandoned this vision? I think this is a moment of truth for the Green Party in Government. Will they stand up for the policy they have long championed, or will they let the Fianna Fáil Minister get his way?

“Expensive, for-profit “cost rental” will be of little use to those struggling to afford housing. We already have excessive rents charged by investment funds and for-profit investors. Instead, we need a model of cost rental based on construction and maintenance costs with profits stripped out to ensure genuinely affordable rents.”

7 July, 2021


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