McDonnell calls for council to support new affordable housing scheme

Former Mayor says councillors should support scheme to 'give hope to young couples who are trying to get on the property ladder'

Independent Galway City East councillor Declan McDonnell.

Independent Galway City East councillor Declan McDonnell.

A long-promised affordable housing scheme, which is expected to help low-to middle-income earners secure a home, is to be brought before the next meeting of the Galway City Council on Monday May 13.

The chair of Galway City Council’s Housing Committee, Independent Galway City East councillor Declan McDonnell, has welcomed the news that this is taking place. Under the scheme, homes will be built on lands owned by local authorities and sold to qualifying applicants at a subsidised price.

In January 2018, Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy announced a scheme that would see affordable houses built on State-owned lands in co-operation with local authorities. It was signed into law last June, and finally local councils have been issued with the regulations governing the initiative.

Cllr McDonnell believes councillors should support the scheme and vote to adopt it at the upcoming council meeting, in order to "give hope to young couples who are trying to get on the property ladder".

He said supporting the initiative was vital, for while he welcomed a recent Government announcement of a State loans scheme for small to medium-sized builders, to encourage house building, he noted these will be private houses that "someone earning less than €60,000 will never be able to buy or get a mortgage for".

Cllr McDonnell said there was "a section of the community who are in dire need" of housing and that they stand to benefit from council passing the initiative. He pointed out that those on incomes of between €35,000 and €60,000 had "no hope" of securing a home of their own without some help or subsidy of some kind. “They are considered to be earning too much to qualify for social housing," he said, "and they aren’t earning enough to qualify for a mortgage to buy a house. They are just caught in the middle."

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