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Taoiseach Micheál Martin says Government will improve €450m apartment scheme which was snubbed by developers

Mr Martin said that the fund which gives developers €144,000 per apartment built, can be improved after concerns were raised by builders

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The apartment fund was initially criticised for being “too attractive” but it was not taken up by developers. Photo: Stock image

The apartment fund was initially criticised for being “too attractive” but it was not taken up by developers. Photo: Stock image

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The apartment fund was initially criticised for being “too attractive” but it was not taken up by developers. Photo: Stock image

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Government will improve a €450m apartment scheme, which has been snubbed by developers, if needed.

The Irish Independent reported yesterday that a second call will be put out by the Department of Housing for the Crói Cónaithe Cities fund, which aims to build 5,000 apartments by 2026, due to insufficient interest during the first call.

“We’re consistently reviewing all schemes. If we can improve them, we will improve them,” Mr Martin told Today with Claire Byrne on RTÉ Radio 1.

“If you look at the housing market at the moment, the State is involved in most of the schemes right now, we’re building a record number of social housing,” said Mr Martin.

“If we need to work on that scheme, we will.”

Mr Martin said the Government at first faced criticism for the scheme being “too attractive” for developers.

“That scheme, when it was announced, was denounced as being too attractive to developers at the time by opposition.

“[The opposition said] It was too attractive to developers, we were bailing out developers, we were underpinning developers with that Crói Cónaithe scheme, but now the argument is that it is not attractive,” he said.

The Taoiseach also addressed concerns voiced by developers and industry representatives that the money is paid out to builders too late in the process.

“The suggestion in the article seems to be because the payment comes too late. You can bank a payment that’s going to come your way in respect of any particular unit but it is a challenging environment in the private sector,” he said.

The Irish Independent yesterday reported the Government is being forced to put out a second call for interest in the fund, which gives developers €144,000 per apartment.

Builders have consistently raised concerns about viability issues in building apartments, coupled with spiralling construction costs.

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Sources in the industry said the scheme was poorly designed, complicated to apply for and the money promised by the State comes too late.

The scheme is aimed at encouraging the building of apartments in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Galway.


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