Wednesday, 4 October 2006
Fergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
I understand the Minister of State's reply but the key point is to assist retired empty nesters to trade down should they so wish and thus make more homes available in the market place. One of the problems is supply and making affordable homes available. I agree with the Minister on the need for a mix in social and affordable housing. Will the Minister of State agree that, perhaps, we ought to ask local authorities to examine the centre of their urban communities, particularly vacant sites that could be made available, and designate them and at the planning stage insist they make more affordable housing available to retired people? That would encourage such people into the centre where the services are located. Also the houses would be cheaper because they would be smaller. That would be socially just and it would be a constructive policy for the Government to look at.