Friday, 4 June 2021
Affordable Housing Bill 2021: Committee Stage (Resumed)
I move amendment No. 41:
In page 13, between lines 12 and 13, to insert the following: “(4) A scheme of priority shall ensure that 20 per cent of dwellings are reserved for purchase by eligible applicants who—(a) live alone, or
(b) are living together with one or more other persons in a household, where only one member of the household earns an income.”.
This amendment aims to address the issue of single-income households and include a policy in that regard in both the affordable purchase scheme and the cost-rental scheme. There is a growing demographic of people who live in single-income households in this country. If one listens to the debate on housing, one generally hears about what people are able to afford if part of a couple. I am referring to single parents, people whose households have caring responsibilities and, simply, single people who live alone and who do not want to have to live in a house-share as they get older. Many friends of mine in their 30s and 40s can still only afford to share a house. They would like to be able to afford a one-bedroom apartment in which to live but they cannot do so at current prices. This amendment proposes that 20% of dwellings be reserved for people who either live alone or who live together with one or more persons where there is only one income in the household. If the State is making a significant intervention in the housing market, as the Government has promised, it is only right that it accounts for this growing demographic of single people and households with one income and that a certain amount of housing be reserved for such people. We need to deal with this notion that one has to marry, live with somebody or be in a partnership to afford a home.It is essential that the State provision of housing takes into account households in which there is only one income and single people who live alone.