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25/10/2021

Warnock turns heat on state bosses to address Longford's affordable housing dilemma

Government chiefs are coming under renewed pressure to empower local authorities like Longford roll out affordable housing schemes in a bid to helping young couples and those who want to own their own home get onto the property ladder.

Independent Cllr Gerry Warnock has devised a blueprint, which if approved, could see applicants secure an approved house through the local authority and get a 30 per cent discount on the price that the local authority paid for it.

If approved, successful applicants must continue to live in the house for as long as you own it with the Council placing an ‘incremental purchase charge’ on the dwelling.

This charge, under the scheme’s finer details, will be equal to the 30% discount applicants get on the price of the house and will remain in place for 15 years.

The scheme also provides for a two per cent charge reduction each year, falling to zero at the end of the 15 year term provided applicants obey the terms and conditions of the scheme.

“There is absolutely no denying that housing, and the provision of appropriate housing options, is undoubtable the biggest challenge facing local authorities,” said Cllr Warnock.

“Local Authorities have traditionally taken up this mantle through providing Social and Affordable Housing schemes to meet the needs within their communities, and I believe that they continue to remain best placed to deliver into the future.”

Cllr Warnock said the time for cross agency support in dealing with housing problems at a macro level is required with county councils remaining the main flagbearer in tackling those issues from a local standpoint.

The “lost decade” of the Economic Crisis created a lack of supply of both private and social housing,” said Cllr Warnock.

“This in turn has driven rents to record highs, and is the root cause of the current crisis, where far too many people are being driven into homelessness.”

Cllr Warnock’s ‘New Build Affordable Housing Scheme 2020’ is set to be debated by the Council’s Strategic Policy Committee in a move which could see it coming into force by the end of the year.

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