Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have shaken up a sorry cocktail when it comes to housing

Diarmaid Ferriter: Thought that ideology on housing would be sidestepped is nonsense

Mullen Park in Maynooth, Co Kildare, where Round Hill Capital has purchased 135 houses to place on the rental market. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

Mullen Park in Maynooth, Co Kildare, where Round Hill Capital has purchased 135 houses to place on the rental market. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

"Leave ideology outside the room and let’s start building houses.” That was the response of Taoiseach Micheál Martin last November when Dublin city councillors rejected plans by developer Glenveagh Homes to build 850 houses on a site owned by the council at Oscar Traynor Road in Santry.

The deal would have meant 50 per cent of the homes sold privately by Glenveagh, 30 per cent bought by the council for social housing and 20 per cent sold to workers qualifying for the affordable purchase scheme. No private sales were included in the councillors’ alternative plans. A few weeks later, Central Statistics Office figures revealed that nationally, house prices had increased by 84.6 per cent from their trough in early 2013.

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