Deputy Jackie Cahill
Fianna Fáil TD for Tipperary Jackie Cahill has said that it is a disgrace that both Fine Gael and Sinn Féin voted against his party’s proposals to establish a new State-led Affordable Housing Scheme to support young people and families in the county struggling to buy their own home.
Deputy Cahill was commenting following Fianna Fáil’s Private Members Business motion which was defeated after Sinn Féin and Fine Gael teamed up together to block it.
“The last Affordable Housing Scheme was shut down by the Fine Gael-Labour Government in 2011, and now this proposal has been scuppered by a new Fine Gael-Sinn Féin alliance," he said.
The Thurles-based TD said that the Government had categorically failed to deliver a single affordable home since them. In fact, house prices have soared by 90 per cent over the past seven years.
“We need to give those working and paying taxes the opportunity to own their own home but as house prices rise beyond all reasonable affordability, the Government needs to make immediate moves to follow through on its commitment to expedite the delivery of affordable homes," said Deputy Cahill.
He said that an Affordable Housing Scheme should be used to kick-start housing construction in areas where supply was weakest and where prices were highest. This must involve an initial capital investment by the State and re-investing the proceeds of sales into further homes.
“Under the Fianna Fáil proposal, people who would be spending more than 35 per cent of their take home would be entitled to buy a home under this scheme. Working families are priced out of the market and face house price over 6 times the average household income. Is it any wonder that the prospect of never owning a home is all too real?" said the FF Deputy.
He said that he was "deeply concerned" that will only continue to be the case for more and more people unless we see a substantive change to policy and the introduction of a scheme for affordable homes in Tipperary.
“Fine Gael and Sinn Féin public representatives should be ashamed of what their TDs did in the Dáil. They are playing party politics with the lives of young people and families in Tipperary,” said Deputy Cahill.