Dáil debates

Tuesday, 9 July 2024

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions

 

2:05 pm

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)

I do not need a chorus. There are many other examples of affordable housing schemes throughout the country. This is not just a meeting of Dublin City Council. In Waterford, for example, we are working to deliver affordable homes with a private developer for prices as low as €225,000. Of course it is more expensive to build an affordable home or a home in parts of Dublin than in other parts of the country. The Deputy probably found that out when she gave a commitment last December to construct and build houses in Dublin at an average price of €300,000 only to have to scrap that proposal - remarkably, live on air - 72 hours before the local elections.

This is a Government that is working to deliver all forms of housing, including affordable homes. It is not right or fair to suggest that one set of homes at one set of prices is in any way reflective of the broader set of schemes and supports that are available right across the country. Anybody can contrast our record as a Government with the Deputy's rhetoric, because we are presiding over a scenario where more than 300 homes are now being constructed every working day this year so far and 500 individuals or couples are buying their first home every week.

More than 600 homes are being built. We are seeing the highest number of homes being built in 15 years. We are building the most social homes since the 1970s. We are building the highest number of homes in Europe according to EUROCONSTRUCT and EY. Some 47,000 families have benefited from the help-to-buy scheme. Over 4,000 people have benefited from the first home scheme. As I said, affordable homes are being advertised around the country for an average price of €267,000. We know we have much more to do when it comes to housing. That is why we have approved a draft national planning framework today that will go out to consultation. That is why we intend to lift the scale of our ambition with new housing targets set in the autumn.

When it comes to affordable houses, it is not simply right to suggest that one set of homes the Deputy has found at one set of figures is reflective of broader affordable housing, nor is it genuine to suggest it is the same price to build an affordable home in Dublin as it is in other parts of the country. We very much look forward to the opportunity for engagement between national and local government. We want to work with local authorities right across this country to deliver affordable housing schemes. We absolutely do. We remain determined to do it and we are making good progress on it.

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