Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien says Government needs "mom and pop and private landlords" 3 months ago

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien says Government needs "mom and pop and private landlords"

He said thousands of private landlords had left the market due to tax treatment.

Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien has said that the Government needs "mom and pop and private landlords" after facing criticism over not enforcing strict enough tax treatments on investment funds.

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When asked about the current situation by Bryan Dobson on RTÉ's Radio One on Wednesday, O'Brien said that he "fully gets the anger that people have" but added that the government doesn't have the capacity to deliver the necessary 33,000 homes a year without capital from investors.

"Really what is at issue here is to ensure that investment goes in the right places. We have a constrained market right now because of Covid. Fundamentally, we need to be delivering 33,000 homes a year," he said.

"I fully get the anger that people have, I was very angry myself, I saw this happen in my own constituency in Donabate 18 months ago where half an estate was sold off. We do think this [the 10% stamp duty] will deter it, but we will keep it under review.

"In the programme for government we do need mom and pop and private landlords, thousands of whom have left the market, one of the reasons being because of tax treatment as well, and we need a fairness in tax there is no question of that."

The Minister added that the government will "monitor" the affordable housing measures which it believes will have a "requisite effect" for potential home buyers.

"We've done quite a lot on the rent side in a very short space of time. I've had four different pieces of tenancy legislation that I've brought in since I've been Minister, just in a short 10 or 11 months," he continued.

"Other measures will be looked at to ensure that there is the right investment in the right place. But, fundamentally, what we're about and what I've been about as Housing Minister is promoting home ownership and affordable home ownership in particular.

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"We do see this as an effective deterrent for investor funds and Minister [Paschal] Donohoe brought forward these measures in a very fast and efficient manner.

"The financial resolution will pass this evening in the Dáil and we certainly do believe that it will have the requisite effect, we will monitor it, keep it under review, so if further changes are required, which I don't envisage, we won't be short in making them."

Cabinet agreed on Tuesday that bulk purchases of 10 or more houses will be subject to a 10% stamp duty.

However, while the measures will apply to all houses in the State, apartments will be excluded.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that apartments will be exempt from the introduction of a 10% stamp duty because of the need for "capital" from investors.

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