Written Answers. - Shared Ownership Scheme.

Mary Upton

Question:

244 Dr. Upton asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he proposes to update the guidelines for the shared ownership scheme to enable more first time buyers avail of this scheme, especially in the Dublin area; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22114/02]

The shared ownership scheme offers home ownership in a number of steps to purchasers who cannot afford full ownership in the traditional way. Initially, ownership is shared between the purchaser who buys at least 40% of the value of the house and the local authority from whom the purchaser rents the remaining share.

The present maximum loan which a local authority may advance in respect of the purchased equity in a house is €130,000. Under the terms of the shared ownership scheme a loan of this amount could facilitate the purchase of houses at the level of average house prices or above, subject to the ability of applicants to meet the mortgage and rent commitments involved. While I have no plans at present to revise the scheme, my Department is keeping the terms of the scheme under review.