Cheevers welcomes FF Bill to set aside land for first time buyers

Councillor says Bill has the ability to redress 'severely dysfunctional' housing market

Galway's local authorities will have the power to earmark land specifically for first time buyers, if a new Fianna Fáil Bill, which sets aside 30 per cent of zoned land aside for first-time buyers, is passed in the Dáil.

This is the view of Fianna Fáil Galway City East councillor Alan Cheevers, who was speaking about his party's Planning and Development (Amendment ) (First Time Buyers ) Bill which proposes that up to 30 per cent of zoned land be earmarked for first-time buyers. As such, a development of 10 units would have up to three units available for first time buyers to purchase.

'When young professionals – teachers, nurses, engineers - are struggling to rent let alone buy, the housing market is severely dysfunctional'

"It is important to level the playing field for first time buyers and keep the dream of home ownership alive," said Cllr Cheevers. “The influx of cuckoo funds snapping up entire housing estates and apartment complexes continues to contribute to an unprecedented degree of competition for first time buyers."

Cllr Cheevers said the impact of such cuckoo funds runs the risk of entire neighbourhoods becoming rental only. He cited Doughiska as an example, where 130 build to rent apartments are planned. He said that while it is important the city increases rental offerings, to make this the sole option for accommodation is "damaging the fabric of our communities" and "driving out home owners" and low-income renters.

“I regularly hear from professionals in our area who are losing all hope of ever owning their own home here," he said. "When young professionals – teachers, nurses, engineers - are struggling to rent let alone buy, the housing market is severely dysfunctional."

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