“There are several things that can be done to address the housing crisis around the country that would not alone solve the problem but would boost the economy too and the Local Authorities must play a central role.” That was the view of Roscommon-Galway Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice, speaking in the Dail yesterday.
“Modular homes costing €240,000 is certainly not the way to go. We can build houses at €85 per square foot and that is a far more realistic price. People should remember that up to 50,000 people around the country will be getting repossession letters from banks over the next couple of years and that could add thousands more people to the housing lists. Banks will have to start listening to people and maybe an equity stake in the house where there is a bad loan might be one solution to that problem”
“The key to house building is credit, and builders will have to have access to credit at reasonable rates and the banks have a huge role in that as well. The Credit Unions also have a role to play. They have four to five billion Euro in assets to invest in this sector and they will have to be brought on board. With regard to young people and access to mortgages we will have to think outside the box and investigate the possibility of inter generational mortgages over a long term like those which available in countries like Austria and others”
“Local Authorities have also a major role to play in any solution. There should be financial incentives for local authorities who can make voids available as quickly as possible while those who are lagging behind would be penalised.
“This housing shortage is a problem that will have to be solved and creative thinking in a number of areas is the way to do it” he concluded.