The extension of the Help To Buy Scheme by two years is positive and will give certainty to first-time buyers, according to Senator John Cummins and Deputy Emer Higgins. Senator Cummins said “The extension of Help to Buy, which provides a grant of up to €30,000 support towards a deposit, is a hugely positive move which will support individuals and couples in purchasing their own home. “The Help to Buy scheme was introduced in 2017 to support first time buyers and it is shameful that opposition parties want to take this essential support away from young people.
“Essentially their three-card trick will take €30,000 with one hand and replace it with one month’s rent as a tax credit and present it as a win. The reality is this would result in less people being able to save for a deposit which in turn would cool the supply of new homes and exacerbate the problems we are facing. “While opposition parties decry the Help to Buy Scheme, it has had a positive impact on 35,648 households who are in homes today because of this assistance. We make no apology for giving young individuals and couples back the tax which they have paid in the previous four years to assist them in purchasing their first home. It is only right that the state should reward those who work hard and want to get their foot on the property ladder.
“The retention of the Help to Buy Scheme, coupled with the roll out of the First Home Shared Equity Scheme and the Local Authority Affordable Purchase scheme, is giving those who want to buy a far better opportunity to do so with the state taking an equity stake in the property to reduce the mortgage which an individual or couple is required to raise. Senator Cummins added: “We also recognise the importance of supporting renters. The new rental credit will benefit some 400,000 renters nationally. It will amount to €500 per renter per year but importantly it can be claimed for 2022 meaning a couple in rented accommodation will benefit to the tune of €2,000 by Q1 2023. This is a hugely positive step in supporting renters.
“Opposition parties present a rent freeze as a catchy soundbite, however we heard from IPAV and IPOA at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing recently that such a proposal would result in even more landlords leaving the market which would ultimately have a negative impact on renters. “This is not scaremongering, the left-wing Berlin government introduced a 5 year rent freeze to much fanfare in 2020, proclaiming that it would resolve everything, however 12 months later supply had reduced by on average 50% and the Supreme Court has ruled it unconstitutional. “While Rent Pressure Zones and capping any rent increases to 2% annually is not a silver bullet, it is a far more appropriate method of moderating rents.”
Deputy Emer Higgins said: “Supply is the biggest challenge we face in terms of solving the housing crisis but we are now seeing that the historic investment made through Housing For All is paying dividends with the highest number of housing completions in over ten years, the highest number of first time buyers in fifteen years, and with 16,000 couples, individuals and families purchasing homes in the past 12 months. “We are now moving in the right direction with completions, commencements and planning permissions all on the right track and €6.2 billion euro in exchequer funding set aside in this budget to continue making gains and implementing Housing For All in 2023. “Fine Gael is the party of home ownership and this budget will provide the concrete funding needed to ensure that home ownership can be a reality for all.”