Housing Agency head believes affordable housing scheme is more sustainable in long run

€75m scheme to allow 2,000 people a year buy new homes criticised by opposition and ESRI as potentially driving up house prices

John O’Connor, head of the Housing Agency: ‘The funding is recycled for future generations to get to a more sustainable model of affordable housing rather than giving away grants’

The government’s €75 million affordable housing scheme is “far better” than the first-time buyers’ grant, the head of the Housing Agency has said.

The scheme is designed to allow around 2,000 people a year to buy new homes by taking out a mortgage to cover most of the cost and then getting a repayable 30-year loan from the state to cover the rest.

But it has been criticised by opposition parties and the ESRI as ...