The Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, is setting up a task force charged with increasing the availability of affordable and social housing units in Galway, and Fine Gael in the east side of the city is calling on him to review the plans for the Ballybane development as part of this.
In May, the Galway City Council granted planning approval for 58 new social housing units for Ballybane, and Donal Lynch, who stood for Fine Gael in Galway City East in May's local elections, is asking the minister to consider making the mix of housing affordable and social, as opposed to just social housing.
"A mix of affordable and social housing is the best way to build better communities," he said. "It leaves a choice so that people can purchase their home under the affordable scheme. In social housing there should be an option to purchase in the future years at a decreased price, when a tenant is paying rent to the local authority."
Mr Lynch is also calling for a 'one stop shop' to be established by both the Galway city and county councils, informing would-be home owners of services available to them.
Mr Lynch stated that the Government-backed Rebuilding Ireland home loan was an example of such services. It is available from all local authorities, which first time buyers can apply for to purchase new or second-hand properties, or to build their own home. It allows them to borrow up to 90 per cent of the market value of the property, which also includes land value. "There is a lot of information that should be readily available to the public," said Mr Lynch. "That's why I'm calling for a one stop shop."