Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions (292, 293)

Pauline Tully

Question:

292. Deputy Pauline Tully asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the number of affordable homes that have been built in County Cavan in each of the past five years; the number planned for 2021; the funding allocated each year to the local authority to supply affordable housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8558/21]

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Pauline Tully

Question:

293. Deputy Pauline Tully asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the number of affordable homes that have been built in County Monaghan in each of the past five years; the total amount planned for 2021; the total funding allocated each year to the local authority to supply affordable housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8559/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 292 and 293 together.

The Programme for Government, 'Our Shared Future', commits to putting affordability at the heart of the housing system. On 22 December 2020, Government approved the priority drafting of the Affordable Housing Bill 2020, the General Scheme of which I published on 20 January last.

The Bill includes provisions to underpin three schemes which will prioritise the increased supply of affordable homes through (1) affordable homes delivered by local authorities utilising the Serviced Sites Fund, (2) a new affordable purchase shared equity scheme for private homes, and (3) the introduction of a new form of tenure in Cost Rental.

The statutory basis for the delivery of affordable housing for purchase by local authorities is Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. To support the delivery of these, €310 million is made available under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF) to provide facilitating infrastructure on local authority lands. With a maximum of €50,000 funding available per home, at least 6,200 affordable homes, to buy or rent, can be facilitated under the fund. To date, Serviced Sites Funding of almost €188 million has been approved in principle in support of 38 projects in 14 local authority areas, which will assist in the delivery of approximately 4,000 affordable homes.

All SSF proposals are considered on the basis of economic analyses submitted by local authorities. These are undertaken to confirm affordability challenges in a given area, project viability, and the local authority's ability to deliver affordable homes with at least a 10% discount on open market values. To date, economic assessments of Cavan and Monaghan have not provided a basis for SSF applications.

In relation to the Affordable Purchase Shared Equity scheme announced in Budget 2021 (for private developments), provisions for this measure formed part of the Affordable Housing Bill. This scheme will be targeted at first time buyers of new build homes who would otherwise not be in a position to buy a home. The detailed design aspects of the scheme, including eligibility criteria and price caps, is currently ongoing, and will be informed by our continued engagement with all relevant stakeholders. However, I can confirm that it is anticipated that this scheme will be available on a national basis to eligible households.

In addition to these measures, both the Rebuilding Ireland Homeloan and the Help to Buy Scheme are other affordability measures available to eligible households seeking to purchase homes.

Questions Nos. 294 and 295 answered with Question No. 256.