Following the announcement of the National Land Development Agency, Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Finance, Michael McGrath TD has said a significant source of funding for social and affordable housing has been completely ignored by the Government.

Commenting, Deputy McGrath said, “it is estimated that Credit Unions collectively have around €8.5 billion held in investments and the return on these investments is not substantial. Time and time again the Credit Union movement have come forward with proposals to invest a portion of that money in a social and affordable housing model.

“Previously, a major restriction was the Central Bank’s investment rules for Credit Unions which prevented them from pooling their investments in Approved Housing Bodies. However, these regulations were thankfully changed earlier this year which now means Credit Unions can start to make an impact on the housing crisis.

“What is clearly lacking here is leadership from Government. We are still awaiting any meaningful proposal from the Government to establish a funding model that can utilise Credit Union funds to build, sell or rent social and affordable housing. This is delay is yet more evidence of a Government that is asleep at the wheel.

“Access to credit is a major stumbling block in the housing crisis and at the same time credit unions are crying out for viable long term investments. We need the Government to take leadership on this and bring forward proposals for the Credit Union sector”, concluded McGrath.