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Opposition politicians raise concerns that scheme to pay developers up to €120,000 per apartment will not reduce prices

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Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan. Picture: Collins

Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan. Picture: Collins

Social Democrats Housing Spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan. Picture: Collins

Opposition politicians have raised concerns that a scheme which will pay developers up to €120,000 per apartment will not reduce prices.

Senior Government ministers this week signed off on the Crói Contaithe (Cities) fund, which will see the taxpayer foot the bill of up to €120,000 per apartment.

The fund aims to activate planning permissions for apartments which would otherwise not be built by bridging the gap between construction costs and market value.

However, opposition politicians hit out at the fund, the details of which were first revealed in the Irish Independent.

“We all know apartment costs are a big problem, but land costs and tax costs within it are a major contributing factor to lack of affordability for buyers and renters,” said Labour’s housing spokesperson Senator Rebecca Moynihan.

“There needs to be massive State intervention to build homes directly. We need to simplify the process for local authorities and give them the funding they need to build homes.”

Social Democrat TD Cian O’Callaghan said that it is “bizarre and extraordinary” that the State “intends gifting developers up to €120,000 per apartment – without securing any apparent benefit for the Exchequer”.

“The State is bailing out developers, but they will still be seeking full market value when the apartments are sold. On what planet does this make any sense?

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“If developers are in financial trouble and unable to complete developments, why doesn’t the State take over those developments and ensure the supply of social, affordable and cost-rental homes is increased,” he said.

Sinn Féin TD Eoin Ó Broin labelled the fund as “crazy”.

“It seems the proposal is to gift large developers of high density developments in our cities €500 million of taxpayers money without any discount for the purchaser and anything close to affordability for working people,” he said.

“Without house prices and private sector development costs spiralling out of control such a scheme would be a scandalous use of taxpayers’ money.”


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