Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government, Barry Cowen has said that the Government must take real action on its commitment to launch a new affordable housing initiative.
Speaking after the Taoiseach made another announcement about utilising Nama to help with providing housing, Cowen said:
“Unfortunately this announcement lacked any specific details on how it was going to be used to deliver more affordable and social housing.
Deputy Cowen stated that using NAMA was a core part of the Fianna Fáil election manifesto but it must be focused on delivering affordable homes for ordinary families.
“Fianna Fáil pledged to use NAMA to build affordable homes in our election manifesto in February 2016. The Government must make up its mind and outline the plan they have for NAMA.
“An explicit commitment of the Confidence and Supply arrangement is the establishment of an affordable housing scheme. We believe that NAMA should be used for this explicit purpose of helping increase supply and open up home ownership to working families currently squeezed out of the market.
“NAMA can and should be used to launch affordable housings schemes in Dublin and other urban areas where supply is weakest and where prices are highest.
“This will help ensure that working families are not priced out of the market and have a chance to own their own home. This was originally outlined in our manifesto and would be financed by a new national home building bond, on an off balance sheet basis, and through funds from the Strategic Investment Fund and the credit union movement.
“I am deeply concerned that this is another one of his Government’s kite flying exercises rather than a substantive policy proposal.
“Establishing an affordable housing scheme is a core part of the Confidence and Supply arrangement between Fine Gael. Using NAMA and accessing off balance sheet finance makes sense to help deliver the housing units we need, and I look forward to engaging with Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy in its design,” concluded Deputy Cowen.