The Increase of difficulty in attaining mortgages coupled with rising home prices has caused Ireland to have the lowest rate of home ownership in 50 years. The main group affected is young people looking to buy their first home who do not have enough money saved up to meet the 10% deposit required to attain a mortgage. Additionally, Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin stated, “a litany of failures,” when discussing how the increase of homeless children falls on the current government’s policies. Mr. Martin discussed how Ireland used to be one of the highest home ownership rates in the EU to now one of the lowest at 68%.
The government may be too complacent with policy or foreign multinational corporations are bringing in a lot of short-term employees who are looking for renting, but something needs to be done to increase home ownership following this statistic. Owning a home provides long-term equity to people in a form other than cash that can be a safety net in times of trouble. Additionally, having to pay rent during retirement years can cause stress on older people and not be plausible unless enough money is saved up to afford that lifestyle.
The Fianna Fáil acknowledged the issue with families unable to get council houses and are having to rely on long-term emergency accommodations. The shortage of social living options is being felt hard for many families who are being forced to live in accommodations that are not suitable. When the government decided to shirt to using Housing Assistance Payments (HAP), hefty tax payers’ money went towards that rather than building a larger housing supply.
Fine Gail and Fianna Fáil are both point figures when it comes to the current housing crisis and need to figure out solutions together to solve the problem. Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, did not appreciate being blamed for the current crisis and accused Fianna Fáil of the current crisis. Mr. Varadkar continued to comment on about 10 years ago when Mr. Martin was a senior figure and lead during the false construction boom leading to a banking collapse.
Mr. Varadkar provided some promising statistics for the future. He claimed that 22,000 houses were built in the last 12 months and an additional 25,000 were planned for the next year. Also, house prices were leveling off and in some areas like Dublin decreasing. He predicted that in the near future there will be enough houses to meet the current demand.
Taoiseach received questions about the recent report stating that the living wage is now 12.30 Euros per hour and why home ownership was decreasing so rapidly. To both questions he gave simple answers saying they were both being addressed, and prompt actions are being taken.
The two parties love to point fingers when it comes to matters in the government. Hopefully, the parties can set aside differences and find solutions to ease the current housing crisis.