Seanad debates

Friday, 4 June 2021

Affordable Housing Bill 2021: Committee Stage (Resumed)

 

9:30 am

Photo of John CumminsJohn Cummins (Fine Gael)

Senator Moynihan sat through the pre-legislative scrutiny of the Oireachtas joint committee and my understanding is exactly as she outlined to the House. Perhaps the term "affordable dwelling contribution" is confusing, but it is clear when read within the totality of the Bill that what is being referred to here is the equity stake that the State takes in the house. The Minister of State outlined it very well in response to amendment No. 47, which seeks to prevent the affordable dwelling contribution being more than 20% of the market value. The rationale provided by him was that it may be necessary for the equity in the property to be more than 20% to be able to assist the very people we spoke about earlier in the debate, that is, lower income households, to be able to avail of affordable purchase schemes. In agreeing amendment No. 47 we would be restricting the ability of local authorities to be able to provide affordable purchase homes to people on lower incomes, which is not something the Government wants to do. That is what is being proposed by the Opposition. I think it is clear when read as part of the totality of the Bill, but I appreciate what has been said by my colleagues to my left.When taken in the context of the Bill as a whole, it is clear the reference is to the equity stake as opposed to a financial contribution that local authorities will have to provide to builders of homes.

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