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Govt’s delay in utilising Credit Union funding making housing crisis worse – O’Brien

- Potential €10bn funding for social housing investment remains untapped five years after first proposal -

Fianna Fáil Housing Spokesperson Darragh O’Brien TD has stated that the Government’s failure to tap into €10bn Credit Union sector is making the housing crisis worse.

Deputy O’Brien raised the issue directly with Minister English last week in the Dáil.

“The Credit Union movement has been advocating for the ability to utilise its €10bn or so in assets through ‘social good’ investments for nearly five years. Their requests have fallen on deaf ears on the part of the Government.

“After five years of work, not one cent of credit union money has been invested in social housing. This was proposed in Rebuilding Ireland and the Programme for Government. It was also mentioned in the Confidence and Supply arrangement with my party.

“The Central Bank removed any regulatory obstacle to Credit Unions investing one year ago yet the Government still hasn’t delivered on its many promises.

“I raised this issue face to face with Minister English last week and have also written directly to Minister Murphy. We are in the middle of housing crisis where the State should be using every tool at its disposal to get more homes built.

“Using a Strategic Purpose Vehicle to access private finance such as the €10 billion in credit union funds is a critical way of getting bricks and mortar in the ground. However the Government’s preliminary research into the idea is running behind schedule, five years after the idea was originally out forward by the Credit Union sector. It’s not good enough.

“The Government needs to get its act together and set up an SPV that can mobilise these billions of euro into delivering social housing investment,” concluded O’Brien.

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