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Murphy says €310k price tag for O'Devaney Garden homes is 'affordable'

The minister also said €1,200 rent is an affordable amount for a couple to pay.

Housing Minister says no homes for sale in O'Devaney Gardens will cost more than €400,000.
Housing Minister says no homes for sale in O'Devaney Gardens will cost more than €400,000.
Image: Oireachtas TV

HOUSING MINISTER Eoghan Murphy has defended the price of homes on offer at the redeveloped O’Devaney Gardens, stating that €310,000 “is affordable for people on the average industrial wage”. 

The definition by Dublin Council of what constitutes an affordable property at the site has been slammed by local representatives this week.

Local representative Eilis Ryan has said the house prices exclude the overwhelming majority of Dublin households, while Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson on Dublin City Council Daithí Doolan has said there are “huge problems” with the site.

“How can a single person on less than €50k or a couple on less than €75k expect to purchase a so-called affordable home in O’Devaney if the price is above €250k? asked Doolan.

After many years of promises and plans to redevelop O’Devaney Gardens, the turning of the sod on the first phase in the regeneration development took place last year.

The overall re-development will deliver approximately 600 homes, with a mix of social, affordable and private homes.

Concerns about the cost of the houses on offer in O’Devaney Gardens was raised with the minister today at the Oireachtas Housing Committee.

Some of the three-bedroom apartments classed as “affordable” homes in O’Devaney Gardens are due to cost €420,000. 

When asked about the matter today, Murphy said that he has been informed that four homes on the site are on offer for €420,000. He said he has spoken to Dublin City Council about the issue, adding that no homes for sale on site will cost over €400,000.

The minister said the majority of homes for sale at O’Devaney Gardens cost less than €310,000 which he said is affordable to people on the average industrial wage. 

The average earnings of a worker in Ireland is just under €39,000, according to the 2018 figures released by the CSO in January of this year.

Last year, the minister said government policy classes affordability as individuals earning up to €50,000 or a couple earning up to €75,000.

He added that government has to “step in to bridge the affordability gap” as it is evident that the market is not doing so.

Sinn Féin’s housing spokesperson Eoin O’Broin took issue with the minister stating that a €310,000 house price is affordable for those on the average industrial wage, as well as Murphy’s comments where he stated that €1,200 is an affordable rent for two people to pay. 

The Sinn Féin spokesperson pointed out that a couple buying a home for €310,000 would need a deposit of €31,000, and therefore would need a bank loan of €279,000.

He said this would breach Central Bank rules on mortgage loans, adding that this couple would also be above the threshold for the affordable housing and the home loan scheme. 

He said the house prices at O’Devaney are “way off the Richter scale” for many. 

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