Latest press release from Cllr Jennifer Whitmore, issued on Thursday, 12th October 2017…
Social Democrat Cllr. Jennifer Whitmore has expressed her disappointment that the provision of an affordable housing scheme did not feature in the 2018 budget, despite assurances by the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Eoghan Murphy, that such a scheme was being considered.
Whitmore said: “In recent months, the Minister has given the impression that he is looking into affordable housing schemes, such as the one recently built by O’Cualann CoHousing Alliance in Poppintree, Dublin. However, I am worried that the fact that the budget did not allow for a scheme of this type means that the Government is not serious about addressing housing affordability for people.
“According to the latest report on house prices from Daft.ie, the average price of a home in Wicklow is €315k, which is 10 per cent higher than this time last year, and a 55.5 per cent increase from when prices reached their lowest point in 2013. Most of the people that come to me seeking help with housing issues are young families where at least one of the parents is working. These people can no longer afford to rent or buy in their home place and are being pushed further away from their family supports in an effort to find housing.
“The affordable scheme in Poppintree, Dublin provides a very good template whereby Dublin City Council provided land at a heavily discounted rate. This allowed for houses to be built for 30 per cent lower than market rates in the area. To avail of this scheme, buyers must have met certain eligibility criteria and couples could not earn more than a combined €79,000 a year.
Whitmore added “I have spoken to the council in regard to establishing a similar scheme in Wicklow, but their hands are tied as there first needs to be a national scheme provided for under the legislation. This is a critical issue for the people of Wicklow and I will continue to work with the council to try to push for a scheme of this type to be established.”