Warning as home ownership in Fingal is now even less possible

by Sylvia Pownall
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Fingal residents hoping to get a foot on the property ladder are forking out more than half their income on rent awaiting affordable housing, a TD has warned.

Fianna Fail housing spokesperson Darragh O’Brien has hit out at the Government for forcing prospective buyers to wait more than a year to even be able to apply for the Affordable Housing Scheme.

The Dublin Fingal TD outlined his concerns at a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing last week.

He said: “It’s almost five months since this committee were assured by the Housing Agency that a much-needed Affordable Purchase Scheme would be in place in a matter of weeks.

“The scheme was signed into law a year ago, but they are waiting in frustration for an update on the long-promised solution.

“The four local authorities in Dublin have drawn up and accepted criteria for the scheme but there is still absolutely no indication of when the first affordable home will be delivered.”

Deputy O’Brien said the issue was critical for those trying to save for a deposit since a single person in Dublin is now paying 58.8% of their net take-home pay on rent, according to a recent survey by Daft.ie.

A separate report issued on Tuesday by EY-DKM Economic Advisory found inflated prices meant Dublin was out of reach for the majority of first-time buyers, even if the 10% deposit was achieved.

The number of houses in rented accommodation in Dublin in 1991 was 8%, but in 2016 that figure rose to 20%.

Deputy O’Brien said: “I meet and engage with a lot of those affected each week and I can categorically tell you that the sense of hopelessness is continuing to heighten.

“We can never accept that handing over half of your take-home pay to simply survive is a normal element of an inclusive, rewarding society.

“It is crucial that we give people more options for affordable rental and affordable purchase.

“These are ordinary workers enduring extraordinary challenges, if not to own their own home, [just] to rent.

“The colossal expense imposed on people is as much a feature in the housing market now than it ever has been.”

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