Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Questions (2958)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

2958. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of affordable houses to be provided in County Kildare in 2020; the way in which the scheme will operate; the estimated price of the affordable houses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34013/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

In June 2018, I commenced Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, which now places affordable housing on a statutory basis. The selection of particular local authority lands and projects for development of homes that will be made available under the Affordable Purchase Scheme is, in the first instance, a matter for the relevant local authority.

The new affordable housing for purchase scheme replaces the time-limited claw-back which applied under the various previous affordable housing schemes. Under the scheme, a discount of up to 40% may be provided by the local authority to the prospective purchaser of an affordable home. The local authority will retain a charge equivalent to the discount, and the household must repay the charge at re-sale or during the charged period. The scheme applies to new homes on local authority land, and is targeted at low to middle-income households. The equity charge will be repaid by the purchaser into a new Affordable Dwellings Fund, which will be administered by the Housing Finance Agency and used to fund more affordable housing.

One of the mechanisms that Government had made available to local authorities to help them deliver affordable housing options is the Serviced Site Fund (SSF). Under the SSF, €310 million is being made available over a three year period, from 2019 to 2021, to support the delivery of infrastructure on local authority sites, which will deliver over 6,000 affordable homes.

The first call for proposals under the SSF in June 2018 was targeted at 11 local authorities, including Kildare County Council, where it was identified that the greatest affordability pressures exist. I issued approval in principle in December 2018 for funding for 10 infrastructure projects in Dublin and Cork with €43 million funding, which will support the delivery of 1,400 affordable homes. Details of projects receiving funding approval in principle under the first call are set out in the following table.

List of projects approved under 1st SSF call

LA

Project/Location

Total Provisional Cost of Proposal

Provisional Exchequer Grant Amount

Provisional LA Contribution

Affordable Housing Potential

LA

Project/ Location

Total Provisional Cost of Proposal

Provisional Exchequer Grant Amount

Provisional LA Contribution

Affordable Housing Potential

Cork Co

Glanmire

€1,500,000

€1,335,000

€165,000

20

Cork City

Boherboy Road

€4,968,366

€4,421,846

€546,520

103

Cork City

Kilmore Road, Churchfield

€1,410,551

€1,255,390

€155,160

21

Dub City

Cherry Orchard

€7,645,415

€6,804,419

€840,996

183

Dub City

Balbutcher, Ballymun

€4,135,351

€3,680,462

€454,889

74

Dub City

Sillogue, Ballymun

€3,975,000

€3,537,750

€437,250

83

DLR

Enniskerry Road

€4,537,576

€4,038,443

€499,133

50

Fingal

Church Fields, Mulhuddart

€11,000,000

€9,790,000

€1,210,000

753

Fingal

Dun Emer, Lusk

€1,500,000

€1,335,000

€165,000

74

Fingal

Hackettstown, Skerries

€2,198,667

€1,956,814

€241,853

49

Total

€42,870,926

€38,155,124

€4,715,801

1,410

The overall cost and timing of delivery for these projects is contingent upon the completion of planning and procurement in the first instance, and local authorities are working to achieve delivery as quickly as possible.

Following the first call under the SSF, and in order to target affordable interventions, local authorities were asked to complete financial/economic assessments of each of their sites to assess whether the provision of affordable homes is economically viable. Local authorities were also asked to assess the broader housing affordability within their area. A second call for proposals under the SSF issued to 19 local authorities, including Kildare County Council, on 9 April 2019, based on the aforementioned economic assessments. The closing date for returns was 17 May 2019 and 30 submissions were received from 15 local authorities, including one submission from Kildare County Council in respect of a site in Ardclough Road with the potential for 10 affordable units. All applications under the second SSF call are currently being assessed by my Department and I intend to issue approvals in the coming weeks.

These schemes will complement other key Government affordability initiatives, such as the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan and the Help to Buy Scheme, which have supported some 13,000 households.