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Approval for a bill that provides up to 30% government share when buying a home in Ireland; Opposition alleges price hike

DUBLIN: Cabinet approves Affordable Housing Bill, which provides up to 30% government share on home purchases in Ireland. There will also be a provision for the buyer to take out a mortgage to find the remaining amount of the cost of buying a home for the first time.

The government has decided to implement the housing project, which was unanimously approved by the cabinet. But the opposition has come out with sharp criticism of the bill. The Central Bank and ESRI had earlier criticised the scheme.

Under the new bill, the government will impose price controls across the country on homes that include affordable housing. Houses under the shared equity system, of which the government owns 30%, will have seven different prices across the country.

According to the bill, homes with a maximum price of up to €450,000 can be purchased in Dublin and Dún Laoghaire under the Affordable Housing Scheme. The maximum price of houses that can be purchased under the scheme will be €400,000 in Cork and Galway, €350,000 in Limerick and €250,000 in Waterford. These rates are yet to be approved by the Central Bank.

Only 6000 homes in four years!

The new housing bill, introduced by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, aims to complete 6,000 new affordable homes within the next four years. The first 50 houses under the scheme will be completed in Cork later this year. 414 Cost Rental Tenancies will also come into force this year. The law requires 10% social homes and 10% affordable homes in each local authority area.

The Minister for Housing claims that this is the most comprehensive affordable housing scheme in the history of the country. The minister said his proposals will give hope to people who cannot afford a house.

Opposition says scheme is a big mistake

Parties, including Social Democrats, point to a number of flaws in the bill. The Social Democrats housing spokesperson Cian O’Callaghan alleges that the shared equity scheme is a big mistake. According to Cian O’Callaghan, the construction industry federation and other developers will exploit this loophole in the bill.

Cian O’Callaghan also alleges that the prices set in the name of price control are high. He said houses are being built by Ó Cualann housing for between €160,000-€260,000 for three-bed semi- detached houses.

The Bill was welcomed by the Construction Industry Federation. Tom Parlon, director general of the organisation, said the bill would help bring the construction industry back on track.

Government to oppose Sinn Féin’s motion

Meanwhile, the government is preparing to oppose the ‘rent motion’ brought by Sinn Féin in the Dail today. Sinn Féin claims that the aim is to end the problems in the private rental sector. According to the motion, it will be prohibited to increase the house price for three years immediately and the lease will be given indefinitely. It will also introduce a refundable tax credit to tenants.

But the cabinet decided not to approve this proposal. The Cabinet also decided to bring a new motion instead.

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