Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Questions (784)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

784. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the average Dublin and national sales price by unit type of an affordable loan under the affordable housing scheme. [53430/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

In line with the commitments in Rebuilding Ireland, this Government has allocated €310 million under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF) over the period 2019 to 2021 to provide infrastructure to support the delivery of more affordable homes on local authority lands.  A maximum SSF funding amount of €50,000 is available per home. This sum comprises  €44,500 (or 89%) Exchequer contribution and a €5,500 (or 11%) local authority contribution.  On this basis, at least 6,200 more affordable homes, to buy or rent, can be facilitated by this measure alone.  This funding is being made available in areas where local authorities have demonstrated a requirement for more affordable housing and the viability to deliver such housing from their sites.  

To date, I have allocated SSF funding of €127 million in support of 35 projects in 14 local authority areas.  This will provide for infrastructure works that will support the delivery of almost 3,200 affordable homes.  The 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. I anticipate that a further call for proposals under the SSF will issue to local authorities in 2020.  

Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 was commenced in June 2018 provides a statutory basis for the delivery of affordable housing for purchase.  Regulations in respect of the making of a Scheme of Priority were signed on 12 March 2019, and these were issued to local authorities on 22 March 2019.  The purpose of a Scheme of Priority is to set out the affordable purchase arrangements at local authority level.  This includes the methodology that will be applied to determine the order of priority to be accorded to eligible households where the demand for such affordable homes exceeds the number available. Further regulations will be put in place over the coming months regarding eligibility and other matters. When the operational procedures for the programme are finalised, and before affordable homes are made available for purchase under the scheme, a programme of communication will be undertaken by my Department and local authorities.  

The selling price of homes that will be made available for purchase under the affordable dwelling purchase arrangements will be influenced by a number of factors which will vary significantly from scheme to scheme.  This includes the overall development cost of each particular scheme (taking into account inputs such as the local authority land value and Serviced Sites Fund), the housing type/tenure mix involved and the local housing market.  

Given the majority of the schemes approved for funding under the SSF are at the planning and design stage, the final sales prices have not been fully determined.  Sales prices will likely be established after public procurement competitions have been completed for each development and can provide greater certainty regarding the overall cost of provision in each case.  

Notwithstanding this, it is possible to provide indicative details of prices in locations where projects are at a more advanced stage.  For example Cork City Council have commenced construction at Boherboy Road of 116 new energy efficient, 2 and 3 bedroomed affordable homes which are expected to come up for sale at prices ranging from €198,000 to €223,000.  Another SSF project by Dublin City Council intends to deliver 165 affordable homes in O'Devaney Gardens. These homes will comprise a mix of 1,2, and 3 bedroom houses and apartments with expected prices ranging from €240,000 and not exceeding €310,000.  

Another key affordability measure the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, enables credit worthy first time buyers to access sustainable mortgage lending to purchase new or second-hand properties in a suitable price range. The low rate of fixed interest associated with the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan provides first time buyers with access to mortgage finance that they may not otherwise have been able to afford at a higher interest rate. Full details of the loan's eligibility criteria and other information is available from the dedicated Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan website, http://rebuildingirelandhomeloan.ie/  In addition the Help to Buy Scheme provides financial support to first time buyers in securing their own home.  

The significant discounts, which will be provided on the affordable purchase homes and other supporting measures, will mean that homes will be available to very many individuals and families on more moderate incomes who would otherwise not be in a position to own their home.