How will Sinn Féin deliver €300k homes in Dublin?

by Alex Greaney
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Senator John Cummins

Sinn Féin’s leader needs to outline how she will deliver new homes to purchase for €300,000 in Dublin, Fine Gael’s Housing spokesperson has said. Senator John Cummins said Deputy Mary Lou McDonald needs to clearly outline how she will bring the average house price in Dublin to €300,000 as she proposed. 

Senator Cummins said “The real question that Sinn Féin has astonishingly got away without answering so far is how will they do it? Not a single explanation for it. You will regularly hear Sinn Féin representatives use catchy soundbites such as ‘we will deliver genuinely affordable homes,’ but you will never hear them explain how. 

“The have not set out a policy document outlining how they will get house prices to this magic €300,000 figure. Sinn Fein’s housing policy is to now create uncertainty in the construction sector in the same way they have done with the rental sector by plucking figures out of thin air and claiming you can deliver homes for a certain value without any regard for the actual cost of delivering homes. 

“What we do know is that the SCSI recently compiled a report that said the average cost of delivering a 3-bed semi-detached home nationally was €397,000, with a figure of €461,000 published for the greater Dublin area. This was made up of 53% hard costs such as materials and the cost of construction, while 47% was made up of soft costs such as land, margin, levies, finance costs etc. 

“It will be very interesting to hear Mary Lou McDonald outline in detail where she is going to get the €161,000 in savings to deliver a 3-bed semi-detached house for €300,000 in the Dublin area. Sinn Féin’s proposal would close the construction sector overnight and send hundreds of thousands into negative equity. Once again Sinn Fein have delivered a hollow soundbite in place of policy.”  

“Sinn Féin completely oppose the First Home scheme which bridges the gap up to 30% between the maximum mortgage an individual or family can afford and the cost of a new home. They also want to abolish the Help to Buy scheme which has been an invaluable support in raising a deposit for the building or purchasing of over 42,000 homes nationally in recent years. 

“All we know about their affordable housing policy is that you will never be able to own your own home outright because the State will always own the land in which it is built, essentially reintroducing a form of British ground rents to Ireland. 

“They have also given varying arbitrary income figures ranging from €55,000 to €85,000 for those that will qualify, without any account given for the actual mortgage that an individual or couple can attain. 

“They have also said that the owner of an affordable home will be restricted to selling their home to people within a certain income band in the future. None of these rules and restrictions will actually deliver homes for cheaper and the party are clearly not confident in their own policy because they have not outlined it. 

“While Sinn Fein and other opposition parties engage in soundbite policy, Fine Gael is busy increasing the supply of new homes and supporting those who want to bring vacant properties back into productive use. 

“The reality is that over 470 first time buyers have purchased or built their first home every single week this year, many with the support of government schemes such as the Help to Buy, the First Home Scheme and the vacant property refurbishment grant. 

“That is the highest level since the crash and I expect to see that upward trend continue into 2024,” Senator Cummins concluded. 

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