Commenting on the shortage of affordable homes in Dún Laoghaire–Rathdown, Fianna Fail Councillor and Local Election candidate in Stillorgan, Donal Smith said, “House prices in our area continue to rise. The average price of a home in Dun Laoghaire- Rathdown is now €660,000. In stark contrast, it would cost the Local Authority almost 60% less to build a home on State owned land.

“There are teachers I know of who are commuting long distances each day to teach in our local schools simply because they are priced out of the market or cannot afford to pay such high rents. When young professionals are struggling as these teachers are, the housing market is severely dysfunctional.

“The influx of Cuckoo Funds snapping up entire housing estates and apartment complexes in our city continues to contribute to an unprecedented degree of competition for first time buyers. This is only further adding to the stress and difficulty faced by first time buyers in this county”.

“This growing trend is being enabled by an existing tax framework which must be fundamentally altered to protect prospective first-time buyers and promote well-balanced urban communities.

“The focus needs to be on increasing the supply of new, affordable homes for average income workers. I believe that the rapid implementation of a €2bn Affordable Home Scheme, in collaboration with the Land Development Agency can help fulfil that target up to 2024.

“Over the next five years I want the Council’s plan for housing to reflect new, ambitious aims for home building across our county,” he concluded.