Tipperary Fianna Fáil general election candidate Sandra Farrell has said that an affordable housing scheme is an absolute priority for her party in their negotiations with Fine Gael ahead of Budget 2019.
“We, as a party, have been consistent in our call for such a scheme since it was mothballed by Fine Gael and Labour in 2012.
“We need a scheme that provides an affordable route to home ownership to young workers, including couples, who earn too much to be eligible for a council house but don’t have the earning capacity to secure a mortgage off a bank. Our Housing Spokesperson, Darragh O’Brien has been relentless in his desire to deliver such a scheme," she said.
Ms Farrell, who was added to the party's election ticket in September, said that young couples in Tipperary needed an affordable route to home ownership.
Despite some income growth in recent years, more and more young people just cannot seem to scrape together the deposit needed to get a mortgage, and banks were not willing to lend them enough capital to buy their first home, she said.
“In Tipperary, house prices have risen 9 per cent in the third quarter of this year, compared to 12 months ago. The average house price in Tipperary is now €178,000. The Central Bank has set a limit of three-and-half-times salary, so this means someone in Tipperary who wants to borrow for an average home, needs to be earning more than €50,000 a year. Young people are quite simply being priced out of the possibility of ever owning their own home. There has to be a better way of helping young people on to the property ladder," said Ms Farrell.
She pointed out that the average rent in Tipperary for new tenancy was €655, up over 6 per cent since 12 months ago, and said that with rents continuing to rise, people will not be able to save for a deposit.
She described it w as a "vicious circle".
“Before the summer, Fine Gael and Sinn Féin joined together to block a Fianna Fáil plan to roll out an affordable housing scheme. This was playing politics with peoples’ lives," said Ms Farrell.
The Nenagh woman said that Budget 2019 was a chance to change Government direction when it came to affordable housing.
"Fianna Fáil is committed to implementing an affordable housing scheme that works for young people in Tipperary,” said Ms Farrell.