Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Housing, Darragh O’Brien has today introduced a bill to prevent so called Cuckoo funds from buying up entire developments that have not been designated as build to rent.

The Planning & Development (First Time Buyers) Bill 2019 will allow local authorities to earmark a certain percentage of zoned land (up to 30% at the discretion of the local authority) for first time buyers.

Deputy O’Brien said: “We are in the middle of a home ownership crisis in Ireland. Ireland has already fallen from a world leader to behind the EU average ownership rate of 69% under FG. Now Direct competition from massive institutional investors will mean many first-time buyers don’t have a chance of owning a home in certain parts of Ireland.

“I have come across several instances where estates and developments have been bought on whole by institutional investors leaving first time buyers and movers behind. Without clear guidelines and safeguards in place this will create high rent only parts of Dublin and other cities”.

The bill comes after spending from institutional investors soared in 2018 including snapping up developments where first-time buyers had already put down deposits.

“Our bill will level the playing field for first time buyers. It will operate on a similar basis to current Part V provisions which ensure that 10% of the units are set aside for social housing. For example, a development of 10 units must have to 3 units available for first time buyers to purchase.

“Each local authority must also review their housing strategy to set out its requirements for rental units over the lifetime of its housing plan. This will ensure a full picture of the housing market is considered when the council sets out its future.”

“We should encourage appropriate investment but not anywhere and not at any price. FF bill will allow for exemptions from the 30% First Time Buyers rule for Build to Rent developments once they are part of the Local Authority Housing strategy. This will allow developments such as Clancy Quay to proceed if they are in line with the Councils housing strategy. However, it will prevent developments that are not earmarked as just Build to Rent from being bought up by institutional investors when they go to the market.” Deputy O’Brien concluded.