Cllr William Careyhas again criticized the minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien and accused him of incompetence for failing to agree terms with the Banks and financial institutions for the roll out of the Affordable housing scheme. Cllr Carey was critical of the minister in June after the Minister announced to great fanfare his plan for an affordable housing scheme without securing agreement with the financial institutions.
At the time South Dublin County Council followed up with a pilot programme of 16 houses at Kilcarberry Grange. 16 families were chosen to participate in the scheme, all of which had prior mortgage approval and the necessary deposit etc, in order for them to qualify for the scheme. However, it seems that nobody in the Dept. of Housing from the Minister to his officials had agreed terms with the banks who are supposed to provide the mortgages. As a result these sales cannot be completed and almost half of the families chosen for the scheme find themselves running out of time as their mortgage approval period runs out and are unable to complete their purchase.
All of this delay lay at the door of the Minister and his department. In June we were told that AIB, BOI and PTSB were already signed up to the plan. This was in fact not the case, and no agreement has yet to be reached with the financial institutions for the affordable housing scheme. According toCllr Carey the Minister has been more interested in playing to the media instead of ensuring that any scheme being announced can be properly funded and properly established.
Cllr Carey added “I believe the Minister deliberately misled the public with his announcement in June and should apologise for this”. On Thursday 8th September Cllr Careyraisedthe matter at the South Dublin County Council housing SPC. The meeting was informed by Director of Housing Colm Ward that SDCC were awaiting a response from the department of housing before they could process the necessary paperwork for the banks to approve the necessary home loans. Meanwhile other local authorities are rolling out programmes for the scheme and the banks are still not on board. Cllr Carey concluded by saying, because of this minister’s ineptitude these families are in danger of having their dreams dashed. The minister must prioritise this matter and resolve any issues with the banks immediately as time is a major factor for many of these families.