Sinn Féin TD Pearse Doherty is urging those locked out of home ownership by ‘cuckoo’ investment funds to come forward and share their story.
It comes as some affordable housing bodies were outbid by property funds ‘by up to €80,000 per house’ over the past four weeks.
Deputy Doherty wants to hear from constituents ahead of a Sinn Féin bill that would, if passed, instruct the government to end the tax advantages and exemptions they granted to institutional investors. Doherty claims the exemptions are making home ownership increasingly unaffordable to ordinary workers and families.
“The housing crisis continues to spiral out of control. House prices have increased by 3 per cent in the 12 months to February alone, and by 88.5 per cent since early 2013,” he said.
“High rents and residential property prices are putting home ownership out of reach for an ever-increasing number of workers and families. In many parts of the state, we have a generation locked out of owning their own home. Institutional investors holding rental property avail of significant tax advantages and exemptions granted to them by the Fine Gael-led government in 2013. Now ordinary workers and families across are paying the price.”
Deputy Doherty added that successive governments have been living in denial. For years, in repeated budget submissions and amendments to Finance Bills, Sinn Féin have called for the tax breaks and exemptions gifted to these investment funds to end.
“They have turned a blind eye. The result is that cuckoo funds spent a record €696m on houses and apartments in this state over the course of the first three months of this year – driving housing prices up and up in the process,” Deputy Doherty said.
“Governments have refused to listen to the repeated warnings of Sinn Féin, so now they need to hear how their inaction has affected you. I am asking people from Donegal to contact me if you have an experience of being gazumped by an investment fund from buying a home, either here in the county or in the county where you are living or working now.”