Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Marc Mac Sharry says the Government’s Help to Buy scheme is not working for first time buyers in the North West because practically no new houses have been built in the region over the past 5 years.

New figures released to Fianna Fáil reveal that fewer than 40 first time buyers have applied for the scheme since it opened in January this year.

Deputy Mac Sharry explained, “This scheme is falling far short of the promises that were made by Government to first time buyers.  The fact that so few applications have been made highlights serious deficiencies with the scheme itself.  The real problem here is supply – first time buyers can only apply for the scheme if they are buying a new build, but here in the North West there simply aren’t enough new homes on the market.

“The Government has consistently failed to deal with the supply issue, and until this problem is effectively tackled this problem will continue to grow.  While houses are being built in the capital and the commuter counties, there is virtually no construction happening here in the North West.

“Fine Gael’s focus on the Greater Dublin area is continuing – and these figures are further proof that the regions are being left behind.  The restrictions of this scheme mean that genuine first time buyers are being excluded because there is not adequate housing stock in the region to allow them to qualify for the support.

“The Government cannot ignore the needs of first time buyers outside of Dublin – and Ministers Noonan and Coveney need to devise a plan that caters for all first time buyers, not just those who live in large commuter towns or cities”, concluded Deputy Mac Sharry.