The primary aim of LIHAF is to stimulate and accelerate the early release of land for housing in urban areas with large demand, by opening up these lands with key enabling public infrastructure that would otherwise not be provided in the short term.
It was initially proposed that a capped price point would be set on a percentage of the housing. However, in consultation with local authorities, it was considered that setting a cap in 2016 for housing that would be developed up to 2021 and beyond was problematic and would have adversely impacted the commercial viability of some sites, with consequential negative impacts on overall supply. Accordingly, a second option was put in place where a cost reduction related to the LIHAF contribution could be spread over the housing development as a whole, reflecting in a lower price for buyers, or aggregated to provide a smaller number of more affordable units.
I have signed grant agreements in respect of 29 projects that were approved in principle last March and, in a number of these, local authorities have secured agreements from developers to aggregate LIHAF deductions to provide more affordable housing under qualifying criteria to be set in line with national policy on affordability, the affordable purchase scheme.
There will also be a social housing dividend from all the LIHAF sites, together with additional social and affordable housing to be provided on the State-owned sites. Regarding the 29 approved projects, and subject to the planning process, it is estimated that approximately 3,000 of the 18,000 new homes to be released by this enabling infrastructure will be for social housing purposes and a further 1,500 will be affordable homes.
Some 70% of approved sites are projected to have housing available at €320,000 or less, based on 2017 prices. With regard to the Dublin region, I have asked the local authorities to seek to provide as much affordability as possible on related sites and many of the projects in Dublin will have some starter homes for sale in that price range as well as more affordable housing.