Saturday 18 November 2017

Councils sidelined in aggressive push on housing crisis

But Central Bank digs in on punitive mortgage rules

Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Tom Burke
Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Tom Burke

John Downing and Colm Kelpie

Local councils will be sidelined in a new move to speed up house-building nationwide and tackle the housing crisis.

Housing Minister Simon Coveney wants project managers appointed to drive specific house-building projects from start to finish.

The minister is also considering further bypassing councils by fast-tracking big building projects to An Bórd Pleanála to speed up decisions and minimise delays through procedures and objections.

The housing strategy will also include a special emphasis on increasing the supply of "starter homes" for first-time buyers in Dublin.

Mr Coveney acknowledges no house in Dublin could be bought for less than €300,000.

The Government is now conceding the housing system is totally broken.

However, the Central Bank continues to adopt a hard line on its controversial tough rules on deposits for homebuyers. Deputy governor Sharon Donnery said a planned review of the rules does not mean they will be changed. Mr Coveney signalled he will make no attempt to interfere in the Central Bank review.

Irish Independent

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