Special help needed for young families ‘stuck’ in unsuitable apartments

October 30, 2017

Special measures are needed to help young couples with children who bought apartments during the boom and now find themselves ‘stuck’ in unsuitable accommodation and unable to purchase family-sized homes, Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphy TD said today.

Deputy Murphy said:

“People, including many young couples, who bought small apartments during the boom, are now in negative equity. Some have become accidental landlords because they have moved out and are letting out their apartments while they rent larger homes. Others are living with children in unsuitably small one or two-bedroom apartments, which they never intended to raise families in.

“These home owners have been completely forgotten by the government, and there was nothing in Budget 2018 to assist them. Many are finding it impossible to service their existing mortgages or keep up with rent payments whilst at the same time saving for a 20 per cent mortgage deposit. They find themselves stuck – unable to buy larger family homes – because they simply can’t compete in the overheated housing market with vulture funds and other cash-buyers.

“As an immediate response, the Social Democrats are calling for the Central Bank to conduct an impact assessment of the 20 per cent deposit rule for this cohort of people, to see whether the rule can be relaxed to enable them to buy suitable family homes.

“We are also calling for the Minister for Housing to ensure that any new affordable housing scheme caters for these people. If they could be helped to move out of apartments into three-bedroom family homes, this would free up space in smaller units. We would also like to see rental payments paid by renters over a sustained period being factored into the assessment of how big a mortgage they can qualify for.”


30 October 2017