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Tánaiste sets target of 70% home-ownership by end of this decade

This would require 40,000 new homes built each year.

Image: Douglas O'Connor

TÁNAISTE LEO VARADKAR has set a target of 70% home-ownership in Ireland by the end of this decade, a goal that would require up to 40,000 new homes built every year.

Speaking at the Fine Gael Ard Fhéis this evening, the party’s leader said owning our own homes “is in our DNA” and acknowledged that this “dream is out of reach for far too many”.

He said: “This dream, this promise, must again become a reality. We must renew the social contract and make owning your own home a fundamental part of it. Tonight, I want to set a target of getting back to 70% home-ownership by the end of the decade. This will require getting up to forty thousand new homes built every year, double where we are now.”

Varadkar said this will be done through public and private investment, adding that Fine Gael in government “will champion the building of new communities and new homes – social, shared ownership, cost rental, student accommodation, homes to rent and above all, homes to purchase”.

“Housing is a human right but it means nothing just to say it or to write it into law. You have to mean it and make it happen,” he said.

“This means voting for new housing not against it, it means stronger protections for renters, encouraging investment not chasing it away and helping first-time buyers to get a deposit and a mortgage. That is what Fine Gael does. Others talk. We build.”

Varadkar also said he thought Ireland’s response to the pandemic was the country “at its best”.

“We learned that we can achieve the impossible when we work together for a common cause. As a team of 5 million. Let’s make this the new normal,” he said.

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“Having led Ireland through the financial crisis, Brexit and the pandemic, as we celebrate a century of statehood, let’s embark on a new mission.

“A mission to build a Just Society, one in which everyone has the opportunity to grow and prosper – to get a good education, to find a job and get promoted, to own a home, to raise a family, to build a successful business, to be looked after when sick, and grow old in security and dignity.

“The pandemic has caused us all to re-evaluate what really matters to us the most. The value of community, solidarity, care, our natural environment, our personal health, our home, our family and friends.”

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