Monday 26 September 2016

Draft plan to address crisis is revealed

Niall O'Connor and Cormac McQuinn

Published 15/06/2016 | 02:30

In terms of private housing, TDs say that there should be an increase in supports for first-time buyers and suggest the introduction of a special savings scheme. Photo: Reuters
In terms of private housing, TDs say that there should be an increase in supports for first-time buyers and suggest the introduction of a special savings scheme. Photo: Reuters

A moratorium on home repossessions and a return to local authorities building social housing are among the recommendations in a draft report on solving the housing crisis.

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The Dáil Committee on Housing and Homelessness is to publish its highly anticipated report on Friday, with its recommendations set to feed into Housing Minister Simon Coveney's action plan to tackle the emergency.

The draft seen by the Irish Independent calls on the Government to fully and quickly implement the Programme for Government's strategy to deal with mortgage arrears before the summer recess.

It adds: "Subject to the advice of the Attorney General, the Government should introduce legislation for a moratorium on home repossessions until such time as the Government's proposals are in place."

The Programme for Government includes a proposal to establish a dedicated mortgage arrears court.

Meanwhile the draft also recommends that "local authorities return to direct building of social housing and that 50,000 new social housing units... be built up to 2020."

That figure is 15,000 more than is provided for in the Programme for Government.

It also says there should be an appropriate mix of private, social and affordable housing in developments and that the Government should develop a two-year strategy to reduce vacancies in the general housing stock.

In terms of private housing, TDs say that there should be an increase in supports for first-time buyers and suggest the introduction of a special savings scheme.

The report also says the Central Bank review of mortgage lending rules should take account of people who find it difficult to save for a deposit because they are paying rent. Measures to solve homelessness include a recommendation that provision of long-term accommodation be increased and that rapid-build housing units by completed without delay.

Irish Independent

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