Friday, 4 June 2021
Affordable Housing Bill 2021: Committee Stage (Resumed)
Martin Conway (Fine Gael)
I endorse what the Minister of State said. I was listening in my office to Senator Cummins. Unfortunately, the only way we are going to deal with the housing crisis is with a public–private partnership. If we want to build units at scale, we require the assistance of the private sector. If equity is to be front-loaded into developments, tying it up for decades, it is only reasonable that there would be an expectation of an equity return.I agree with the Minister of State. Even the much-spoken about Vienna model, which is regarded as the Rolls-Royce of models, provides a return and a small dividend covered by regulation. That is what we are talking about here.
The Bill is the foundation of something that will deliver significant numbers of housing units. It is a very simple equation of demand and supply. At the moment we do not have the supply to meet the demand. Until we can reach that equilibrium, we will have a problem. We need to use every vehicle we possibly can to build the houses on the scale we need and we absolutely need the private sector for that. Many developers do their business in an ethical and honourable way. We need to utilise and harness the best that all of those have to offer to complement the absolute priority and dedication of Government.