Affordable homes for less than €230,000 could be purchased in Galway City by households with gross incomes between 45,000 and 75,000 per year, under a new proposed scheme by Sinn Féin.
Homes would be also be available to rent between €700 and €900 per month depending on household size and income, under the draft affordable housing scheme.
In other towns and rural areas across County Galway, affordable homes for €220,000 or less would be delivered.
Galway West TD Mairéad Farrell welcomed her colleague Eoin Ó Broin’s draft circular – and said affordable housing was the single biggest issue across Galway in February’s general election.
Deputy Farrell said that it outlines how local authorities, approved housing bodies and community housing trusts will all be able to provide affordable homes to rent and buy – and it also outlines who would be able to access such homes.
However, the plans have been criticised by Fianna Fáil’s Housing Spokesperson Darragh O’Brien, who accused Eoin Ó Broin of ‘imitation’.
In a Tweet aimed at the Sinn Féin TD, he said: “Glad to see at last you’ve come around to the idea of affordable housing, having voted against it in the last Dáil.”
He also referenced an older Tweet in which he accused Sinn Féin and Fine Gael of ‘cozying up to each other again’.
But Deputy Farrell claimed that for the last four years, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael failed to deliver a single affordable home to rent or to buy, and neither party has published a detailed affordable housing scheme.
She said that the housing crisis is a ‘nightmare scenario’ for many people who are working full-time, paying rent and unable to save up for a home.
“The circular published by us is a response to the growing frustration among local authorities and approved housing bodies that no affordable housing scheme has been delivered by government.
“The absence of such a scheme lies at the heart of disagreements around public housing delivery between Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party in their government formation discussions.
“The Land Development Agency, as it is currently set up, will not deliver genuinely affordable homes to rent or to buy. Our scheme provides the clarity that local authorities, approved housing bodies and community housing trusts need to deliver affordable rental and purchase homes.
“This week the ESRI have called on the incoming government to focus their economic stimulus package on investment in affordable housing.
“We have put our draft circular out to consultation to all local authorities, approved housing bodies and other stakeholders and we are looking forward to receiving feedback,” added the Galway West TD.