Wednesday 22 November 2017

'No return to days when people queued to put down deposits'

Chair of the Dáil Housing Committee Maria Bailey Photo: Tom Burke
Chair of the Dáil Housing Committee Maria Bailey Photo: Tom Burke
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

The country cannot "go back to the Celtic Tiger days where people were queueing to put cheques down on houses", the chair of the Dáil's Housing Committee has warned.

Maria Bailey has said that whatever measures are brought forward by the Government to help first-time buyers, they must be "measured".

The Fine Gael TD told the Irish Independent that building up a sustainable supply is the only way to reduce the cost of houses and renting. She would like the new committee to study the 80 recommendations set down in Housing Minister Simon Coveney's 'Rebuilding Ireland' plan and "pick out the key ones we'd like to see prioritised and focus on how to implement them".

The committee has not yet met to get a briefing from the minister on his plans - but he has told them he will be available "at any point" over the summer recess.

However, the Labour Party's housing spokeswoman Jan O'Sullivan told's 'Floating Voter' podcast that the lack of detail on the rental sector was "a major omission" from the plan.

She also raised concern that its timeline for implementation may not be achievable.

"A lot of people are in rented accommodation where they don't have security, where they have no guarantee that their rent isn't going to go up significantly and where there really isn't a prospect of them either getting a loan to buy or indeed getting a local authority house, so I think that's a major omission".

In the Dáil, Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald defended the lack of detail on the rental sector.

She said Mr Coveney was committed to developing a "comprehensive" plan by the end of the year.

"It will contain a range of actions focused on four key areas: security, thereby greater certainty to landlords and tenants; supply, maintaining the existing levels of rental stock; an examination of standards, which are important; and the broadening of the powers of the PRTB to enable it more effectively provide its services."

Irish Independent

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