Housing costs and housing co-operatives

 

Sir, – The €320,000 developers say they require to make a profit on apartments (News, September 13th) contrasts sharply with the price of €170,000 for a three-bed town house in Ballymun which the housing co-operative Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance was able to produce affordable housing for. Admittedly, the houses were built on land sold by Dublin County Council at a nominal €1,000 per site. Development levies were waived, but a profit of 5 per cent was generated as required by the bank which provided the initial funding.

What this points out is that it is possible to build affordable housing for mortgage in Dublin and elsewhere around the country, if the will is there to do so, and surely shows the model for the future of home building.

Land for building homes around cities, towns and villages could be bought by compulsory purchase order at agricultural prices (at about €10,000 per acre), plus adequate additional loss of income for farm revenue.

Development levies could be scrapped and the goal of the State should become to ensure that workers (of all incomes) should be able to buy a modest home (not necessarily exactly where they want) for an affordable price.

Our Government and Department of Finance only sees housing, and land for housing, as a taxation cash cow and is placing no value on the benefit of affordable housing for society or, indeed, industry.

Although there will be some “loss” in monetary terms with the elimination of development levies, this will be more than compensated for by the increased competitiveness of Ireland Inc, in an uncertain international trading environment, due to the lower wages and salaries required by workers to pay for the lower-cost housing. – Yours, etc,

DAVID DORAN,

Bagenalstown,

Co Carlow.