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FF strategy will secure home ownership, tackle homelessness & support first time buyers – Cuffe

FF strategy will secure home ownership, tackle homelessness & support first time buyers – Cuffe

Fianna Fáil candidate for Wicklow-East Carlow Cllr. Jennifer Cuffe says securing home ownership and tackling homelessness is one of the party’s key priorities and is one of the key issues in its General Election campaign.

Cllr. Cuffe commented, “Families across Wicklow and East Carlow have been failed by this Government, which has presided over the worst housing crisis in the history of the State.  According to the latest figures there are over 750 families and 1,600 children sleeping in emergency homeless accommodation nationwide.  This is a shocking and shameful record.

“Despite all Minister Kelly’s posturing, fewer than 246 new social homes were constructed across the country in 2015 resulting in surges in social housing waiting lists nationwide.  In Wicklow, there are an astounding 3,668 people on the social housing waiting list – a staggering 84% increase in the space of 2 years. Disgracefully, this Government did not build a single social home in Wicklow in 2015.

“The years 2011 to 2015 saw by far the lowest social housing construction and provision since records began in 1970.

“The Government’s failure to take even simple measures, such as increasing Rent Supplement thresholds or putting a stay on mortgage repossessions, is forcing people out of their homes in the short term.

“As a young self-employed person, I know that many young people are struggling to get on to the property ladder. Low interest rates, soaring house prices, astronomical rents and punitive Central Bank deposit requirements have effectively priced first time buyers out of the market. Fianna Fáil will help these young people towards owning their own homes with the introduction of an SSIA style First Time Buyers’ Savings Scheme with a 25% top up on 80,000 individuals’ home savings account.

“Fianna Fáil has put forward a clear, fully costed plan to tackle this crisis head on focusing on Public, Private and Rental areas”, explained Cllr Cuffe.

1. Public

– €5.4 bn social housing programme to build 45,000 social housing units
– Restore Part V to 20%

2. Private  

– A new Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to take the lead on dealing with the crisis
– A National Home Building Bond to finance development
– A First Time Buyers Savings Scheme

3. Homeless & Rental
– Raise rent supplement in Dublin
– Ensure new social housing units from part of the “Housing First Strategy”

“In Government, Fianna Fáil will prioritise keeping families in their homes and increasing housing supply. Our policy – set out in our ‘National Housing Roadmap’ will directly fund the construction of 45,000 social homes by 2021 and stimulate the construction of 105,000 private homes by 2021”.

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