Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (382)

Bernard Durkan


382. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the average price of a house now deemed to be in the affordable category; the number built, acquired or under construction at present throughout the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38690/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

In terms of the delivery of more affordable homes for sale by local authorities, €310m is available for Serviced Sites infrastructure funding that will support the delivery of up to 6,200 new homes that will be made available under this scheme. The first SSF project that will be deliver affordable homes will be Boherboy Road in Cork City in early next year at prices ranging from €200,000.

Details of all SSF projects that have received approval in principle under both SSF calls, and the number of more affordable homes whose delivery will be supported by SSF funding are available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following links:

Call 1: https://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-gives-the-go-ahead-for-ten-local-authority-sites-for-affordable-housing-under-the-serviced-sites-fund/

Call 2: https://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-approves-funding-of-e84m-to-support-delivery-of-1770-affordable-homes-under-the-ssf/

The selling price of homes that will be made available for purchase under the local authority affordable dwelling purchase arrangements will be influenced by a number of factors which will vary significantly from individual development to development. This includes the overall development cost of each particular development the housing type/tenure mix involved and the local housing market. The majority of the projects approved for funding under the SSF are at the planning and design stage. As such, the final sales prices will not be fully determined until planning permission has been obtained and after the procurement process for construction of the development in question has been completed.

In Budget 2021, €75 million was ring-fenced for the national affordable purchase shared equity scheme. I intend to target the scheme at first time buyers, who are seeking to buy a new home but who cannot quite secure the full mortgage amount to do so at the present time. Subject to the final qualifying criteria, the scheme would see the State take a limited equity stake in a property, in order to help more people meet the cost of buying a new home with their available mortgage.

To this end, significant preparatory work has already been carried out by my Department working primarily with the Housing Agency and the Department of Finance. Intensive engagement continues with key stakeholders informing the final detailed parameters of the scheme, as well as with home builders to seek to increase the output of new homes in response to the new scheme.

It is envisaged that the homes delivered under this scheme, supported by Government investment, will be made available to applicants who meet defined eligibility criteria. The precise eligibility conditions are currently being developed in light of the engagement outlined.

Other measures, such as the Help to Buy Scheme and the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, are also available to eligible purchasers nationally to make home ownership more affordable.

An enhanced Help to Buy scheme was announced as part of the €7 billion July stimulus package, which was extended to December 2021 as part of Budget 2021. This allows first-time buyers purchasing a newly-built home – or building one themselves – to claim back up to €30,000 paid in income tax and DIRT on bank deposit interest over the last four years. Full details of the Help to Buy initiative are available on the Revenue website.

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is a Government-backed mortgage which is for first-time-buyers nationwide to purchase a new or second-hand home or to self-build. This scheme offers loans on competitive terms to those who are unable to secure a commercial bank loan. Full details of the scheme are available on the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan website.