Wednesday, 19 May 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
129. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the expenditure in each of the past ten years to date specifically devoted to affordable house building where the purchaser has unimpeded access to the market without the intrusion and competition of investment funds; the number of families housed by the local authorities in the same period; the number of local authority loans issued under the specialist disability accommodation or rebuilding Ireland scheme in the same period; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27114/21]
The Government is committed to ensuring that affordable, quality housing solutions are available to everyone in Irish society. The Affordable Housing Bill 2021, which commenced Second Stage in the Seanad on 17 May 2021, will ensure that affordability is put at the heart of the housing system. The Bill will underpin the new local authority led scheme of affordable homes for purchase, an Affordable Purchase Shared Equity Scheme (private lands) and the introduction of a new national Cost Rental scheme. This will see the first homes delivered under a legislatively based State-backed affordable purchase scheme in the time period specified by the Deputy.
Recently, affordable housing has been supported through initiatives such as the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF). At the end of 2020 1,406 cost reduced units had been completed under LIHAF. First-time buyers have also been supported by the Help to Buy Scheme. To date, 25,504 Help to Buy (HTB) claims have been made, of which 24,757 have been approved. The estimated total value of approved HTB claims to date is €420million and the total value of approved and pending HTB claims to date is approximately €433 million.
My Department also operates the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, which is targeted at first-time buyers who wish to purchase their own home, have access to an adequate deposit and have the capacity to repay a mortgage, but who are unable to access a mortgage sufficient for them to purchase their first home. My Department regularly publishes information on the number and value of local authority loan approvals and loan drawdowns. Local authority approval means that an official letter of offer has been sent to a borrower (and therefore relates to a specific property and loan amount). Details on the number and value of loans for 2018-2020 is available at the following link:
My Department does not hold details of local authority social housing allocations. Details on the number of households qualified for social housing support in each local authority are provided in the annual Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA). The most recent summary, conducted in November 2020, shows that 61,880 households were assessed as qualified for and being in need of social housing support. This represents a decrease of 6,813 households or 9.9% on the last assessment in June 2019. Since 2016, the numbers have decreased from 91,600 to 61,880, a reduction of 32.4%.