House builder association proposes shared equity scheme

TD's and councillors invited to hear about problem at Irish Home Builder Association workshops

Henry Bauress

Reporter:

Henry Bauress

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henry.bauress@leinsterleader.ie

House builder association proposes shared equity scheme

Housing was key issue in election and politicians must understand the challenges

The Irish Home Builders Association is proposing a  shared equity scheme whereby the Government takes an equity stake in new homes with the first-time buyer effectively repaying the loan over a defined term.

The Association, which is organising a series of workshops for politicians, says this will help buyers to bridge the gap between the restricted lending terms a bank can offer and the difficulties buyers are having saving a deposit.

The Association (IHA), a Construction Industry Federation (CIF) body,  is inviting all TDs and local politicians to a series of regional roadshows to inform politicians about the specific challenges preventing homebuilding in their areas. One take place on March 12 at Chartered Accountants Ireland office at  47/49 Pearse Street, Dublin on Thursday, March 12 (3.00-5.00pm)

It says housing election promises will not be met unless the next Government addresses blockages in the system.

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Recent figures from the Central Statistics Office show that Naas and Celbridge areas are two of the top four eircode areas for house completions last year but the IHA said the 21,000 plus national completions last year won’t meet demand for housing.

The figures showed that two of the top four areas were in north Kildare. While a total of 1,901 new dwellings were completed within county Kildare last year, there were slightly more in the seven eircode areas, 2,109. The top area in the State, where 21,241 buildings were completed, was the W91 Naas area with 829.

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Director of Housing, Planning and Development with CIF, James Benson said homebuilders face multiple barriers preventing them from building the numbers of homes people require. “Housing was the key issue in the last election so it’s vital that whoever forms the next Government understand the challenges on the front-line of housing delivery in Ireland today.”

 Planned workshops will  provide the latest information on all housing and planning issues to ensure that companies are up to date with changes in legislation and regulation prior to engagement with statutory agencies.

 Chairman of the Irish Home Builders Association (IHBA) Neil Durkan said any homebuilder is welcome to attend the Irish Home Builders Association regional workshops and they will provide really valuable insights into the current issues blocking supply. “We need a scheme to assist the first-time buyers to get on the property ladder.  We believe a Shared Equity Scheme whereby the Government takes an equity stake in new homes with the first-time buyer effectively repaying the loan over a defined term. This will help buyers to bridge the gap between the restricted lending terms a bank can offer and the difficulties buyers are having saving a deposit.

He said without a shared equity scheme many more people will be forced into long term rental and increase the numbers forced onto social housing lists. “The clock is already ticking for the next Government, if they don’t remove some of these barriers, housing supply will not increase and they will have to face an electorate that has lost patience with the system when it comes to housing.”

 The IHBA workshops will include presentations and expert panel discussion including representatives from industry, Bank of Ireland the Office of Planning Regulator, Irish Water and ESB Networks. 

The workshops are open to members and non-members and will provide an opportunity for updates on the regulatory and economic environment affecting homebuilders. Each session will run through the technical issues of various topics from building regulations, planning & development, finance, utilities and construction and demolition waste.