Fianna Fáil General Election candidate for Clare Cllr. Cathal Crowe has welcomed a Fianna Fáil Bill which would empower local authorities to earmark residential land for the purpose of sale to first time buyers.

The Planning and Development (Amendment) (First Time Buyers) Bill will ensure that up to 30% of zoned land will be earmarked for first-time buyers. For example, a development of ten units would have up to three units available for first time buyers to purchase.

Cllr. Crowe said, “Whereas the Fine Gael government has been found severely lacking when it comes to real and meaningful solutions to address the housing crisis, Fianna Fáil have set out a number of measures to tackle the ever-growing emergency.

“This latest one seeks to level the playing field for first time buyers and keep the dream of home ownership alive – something which has become further away for most people in recent years with home ownership rates slipping to a 50 year low of 67%.

“As it stands the influx of Cuckoo Funds snapping up entire housing estates and apartment complexes is contributing to an unprecedented degree of competition for first time buyers. This Bill will prevent the bulk buying of entire developments by investment funds thereby freezing out first time buyers.

“We know that house prices in our area are continuing to rise, with recent reports putting the average price of a home in Clare at €191,000. I regularly hear from young people who are still struggling to afford to buy a home.

“I, and my party are committed to finding real and workable solutions to the current housing crisis and I am hopeful that other parties will see the merits of this Bill and support it when it comes before the Dáil next month”, concluded Cllr. Crowe.