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Councillor Sean Mc Loughlin.

McLoughlin urges Government to address ‘property ladder black hole’

CLARE County Councillor Sean McLoughlin has called for a review of Government and banking policy to help the thousands of Clare people who find themselves in a “property ladder black hole”.

The Shannon-based Councillor said people on lower incomes are being left behind and unable to own, purchase or build homes due to restrictive social housing list and mortgage qualification criteria.

“In a State that boasts a constitutional entitlement for every person to own a home, it is clear that not all of our citizens are being catered for. Many cannot get on the council housing list, cannot secure a mortgage or do not qualify for rent supplement,” he stated.

Councillor McLoughlin explained the “property ladder black hole” related to individuals on an income of €35,000.

He continued, “The simple matter is that any person earning €35,000 or under cannot obtain a mortgage yet many are paying a monthly rent equivalent to a monthly mortgage payment. Similarly, persons earning €35,000 or over do not qualify to be included on the local authority housing list nor do they qualify for rent supplement. Essentially, many people are finding themselves caught between two stools with no clear option to own their own home.”

“The Government and the banking sector must address what is a very real and concerning issue for many. Local authority housing list and mortgage applications should be reviewed on a case-by-case and needs basis rather than the existing, simple salary-based system. The latter should not and does not adequately determine one’s individual needs for a social housing unit or indeed, ability to pay a mortgage,” he concluded.

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