The Social Democrats have accused Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien of being “in denial” on the impact the Government’s shared equity scheme could have on the cost of housing.

Social Democrats Spokesperson on Housing, Cian O’Callaghan TD says the Minister needs to face up to facts.

“When criticisms on the Government’s proposed shared equity scheme are coming from the ESRI, the Central Bank, the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers and a former Secretary-General, there is a responsibility on the Government to be honest with itself.”

“The Minister has demonstrated a habit when questioned on the shared equity scheme of evading the subject. Making housing affordable ought to be a priority for this Government. Ignoring evidence that criticises the Government’s agenda will not deliver meaningful solutions to the housing crisis.”

Deputy O’Callaghan noted:

“This week in the Dáil we saw Tánaiste Leo Varadkar admitting that the shared equity scheme would increase demand as well as the cost of housing.”

“We have to look to the real world examples like in England where a similar shared equity scheme drove up the cost of housing, as shown by the London School of Economics. Housing is already unaffordable for average people on average incomes. The Government risks the potential of burdening average families with more debt if they persist with shared equity.”

“Everyone, including the Tánaiste, concedes that the shared equity scheme could fuel demand and lead to increased house prices – everyone that is except the Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien.”

5th March 2021

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