Irish affordable housing scheme focus in wrong says SCSI
Published: October 26, 2016
The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland has said the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme announced in Budget 2017 will have very little impact on the housing crisis because supply is the problem, not demand.
Claire Solon, President of the SCSI, said the Government should have focused on supply measures as they would have a much greater impact on the crisis, help stabilise house prices and offer a better return to the taxpayer.
“In our view, the Government should have been focusing on initiatives to make development viable, like reducing VAT on affordable housing, making public land available for affordable housing schemes and providing finance to help kick-start building on sites around the country, with all the employment and tax benefits that this would bring.”
“We can see what the Government is trying to achieve but we just don’t see it happening. The Government believes providing assistance to first-time buyers – who are the first link in the chain of house-buying – will help stimulate development by bringing more buyers into the market and giving builders confidence to start building new homes.”
“However, in the short term at least, this will just mean greater competition for those few properties that are available across all sectors including tenants, students, social and affordable housing. As we have seen increased competition means higher prices,” said Ms. Solon.
The Society welcomed the allocation of €1.2 billion in funding to the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government and the undertaking to deliver 47,000 new social houses by 2021.