Government ‘loses’ 10,000 affordable homes; set to move on vacant properties

Seen and Heard: wages subsidiary scheme to be extended by three extra months

The Government has granted an exemption for some developers on social housing provision

The Government has granted an exemption for some developers on social housing provision

 

The Government has “lost” 10,000 affordable homes after it granted an exemption to developers who bought land between 2015 and 2021, according to the Business Post.

It says under the new housing plan, some developers are to be told to set aside 20 per cent of homes for social and affordable housing, rather than the existing 10 per cent. However, it gave a commitment not to impose this new rule on those who acquired land over the past five years. Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said the exemption was made on foot of “very strong advice” from his department.

Staying with housing and the same publication says owners of vacant homes face a potential five-fold increase in their annual property tax. The increase is expected to be introduced next year in a move to bring back some of the estimated 180,000 vacant properties into use. The move could prove costly for institutional funds that are sitting on valuable empty apartments.

Wages

The Government is to extend the wages subsidisation scheme – which supports more than 300,000 workers to next March, the Business Post reports. The scheme was to expire on December 31st but there is concern that the ending of it could damage a number of sectors that are still struggling, including hospitality, tourism, aviation and entertainment.

Betting

A number of publications report on Paddy Power owner Flutter, which is introducing a €500 monthly cap on losses for its younger customers.

The move comes as the betting industry seek to prove it is taking adequate measures to protect problem gamblers. The cap will block under-25s from losing more than €500 each month.

The company said about 5 per cent of it 750,000 customers in Britain and Ireland which fit into this age category could sometimes be affected by the caps.

* Fund

The Sunday Times reports that DunPort Capital Management has completed the first close on a new SME direct lending fund, raising €255 million. The Oak fund will target lower mid-market companies with earnings of between €1 million and €10 million, and if successfully deployed it will bring the total amount of credit advanced by DunPort to more than €1 billion. The alternative lender is expected to add a further €50 million in commitments to the Oak fund at final close later this year.

Prices

House prices could rise by 12 per cent this year, according to data from the Institute of Professional Auctioneers and Valuers (IPAV), in a report covered by the Sunday Independent. The cost of buying a home has reached levels not seen since before the economic collapse with double-digit percentage prices already seen in some regions in the first six months of 2021. The IPAV warns soaring prices could have devastating outcomes for both the young and society at large.

Concerns

A group of shareholders in Nephin Whiskey has written to the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) regarding its concerns over the Co Mayo-based company, the Sunday Independent reports.

It says the group sent a list of queries to the ODCE late last month. The move comes after the failure of co-founder Paul Davies to respond to concerns, according to the newspaper.

* This article was amended on September 8th, 2021