– Affordable credit facility needed to support infill housing projects –

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has said that Ireland cannot rely solely on mega-builders and developers to build the houses needed to end the housing and rental crises.

“For far too long, we have been relying on the large developers to build the 1000 plus sized schemes, and have forgotten about the smaller builders who have the capacity to build 10-30 units at a time.

“These builders were always the backbone of the housing industry in Ireland. Recently, they have struggled to secure the financing they need to build these homes.

“In every town and village across Ireland, there are sites, some owned by the Council and some by private owners, suitable for smaller scale developments, yet they are rarely built on.

“The mega developers will never look at these sites, as they are too small and wouldn’t deliver the margins needed to repay their institutional investors.

“However, small builders, if given access to credit at the right prices would jump at the chance to build on these sites. Crucially, they may not have as onerous a task in terms of getting planning permission.

“As a member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, I have consistently raised the issue access to affordable credit. Nowhere is this more pertinent that in the housing sector.

“Last week, I raised the issue of the State establishing a credit facility for small-scale builders and developers to support them to build these 10-30 unit sized developments in towns and villages across Ireland with An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD.

“We know that the large mega-developments, with 1000s of units, always face delays due to planning. Small-scale infill developments are desperately needed if we are end the housing crisis,” concluded Kelleher.