Written answers

Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Housing Provision

Photo of Rose Conway-WalshRose Conway-Walsh (Mayo, Sinn Fein)
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56. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number of affordable purchase homes that will be available in 2021 in County Mayo; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23021/21]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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This Government is absolutely committed to ensuring that affordable, quality housing solutions are available to everyone in Irish society and this is reflected in the Programme for Government "Our Shared Future".

I am currently progressing two affordable purchase schemes. The first of these entails the delivery of affordable homes by local authorities. To support this, under the Serviced Sites Fund, €310 million has been allocated to provide infrastructure to support the delivery of more affordable homes on local authority lands. With a maximum of €50,000 funding available per home, at least 6,200 more affordable homes, to buy or rent, can be facilitated. To date, Serviced Sites Funding of €198 million has been approved in principle in support of 39 projects in 14 local authority areas, which will assist in the delivery of over 4,200 affordable homes.

All Serviced Sites Fund proposals are assessed on the basis of economic analyses submitted by local authorities, which are required to verify local affordability challenges, project viability, and the ability to deliver affordable homes with at least a 10% discount on open market values. Whilst an application for Serviced Sites funding has not been made by Mayo County Council to date, it is open to the Council to do so should it identify an affordable housing challenge and the viability to deliver homes against the above-mentioned criteria.

Separately, a new National Affordable Purchases Shared Equity scheme is currently being designed for private developments. My intention is that this measure will be available nationally. It will help bridge the gap, by means of an equity stake purchased by the State, between the maximum mortgage available to eligible households and the price of the new home they wish to buy.The objective of the scheme will be to increase housing supply by activating viable planning permissions and to enable First Time Buyers to buy a new home at a price they can afford sooner than would otherwise be the case.

The detailed provisions to operationalise both of these schemes will be contained within a new housing Bill which I intended to bring to the Oireachtas in the very near future to allow their commencement this year.

In the meantime both the Help to Buy and the Rebuilding Ireland Homeloan remain available to eligible purchasers to make the cost of housing more affordable.


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