This Government is acutely aware of the housing accommodation and affordability challenges faced by many sectors of society including healthcare workers. The Programme for Government has committed to put affordability at the heart of the housing system and increase the supply of public, social and affordable homes. A multi-faceted approach is being implemented to achieve this.
As Minister for Housing, I advanced the Affordable Housing Act to establish a legislative basis for 4 new affordable housing measures. These measures are (1) delivering affordable homes on local authority lands, (2) the introduction of a new form of tenure in Cost Rental, (3) a new affordable purchase shared equity scheme and (4) expanding Part V planning requirements to increase the 10% contribution requirement to 20% and to apply it to cost rental as well as social and affordable housing. The Affordable Housing Act was enacted on 21 July 2021.
The Housing for All strategy was published on 2 September and provides the funding and the targets for the affordable housing schemes. This is the most ambitious housing plan in the history of our State, backed up by an unprecedented financial commitment of in excess of €4bn per annum. At a national level, over 300,000 new homes will be built by the end of 2030, including a projected 90,000 social homes, 36,000 affordable purchase homes and 18,000 cost rental homes. These homes will be provided by Local Authorities, Approved Housing Bodies, the Land Development Agency, as well as through a strategic partnership between the State and retail banks.
The Housing for All Strategy also introduced the Local Authority Home Loan as a successor to the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme. This new scheme will include an increase in the income ceiling for single applicants, thus increasing the number of people eligible. Additionally, from 10 September 2021, I have already implemented a reduction of the mortgage interest rate by 0.25% for new borrowers under the existing Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan. This lower rate will also apply to loans issued under the forthcoming Local Authority Home Loan. The Help to Buy scheme is also currently available to help purchasers in accessing homes.
Further to the above, the Housing for All strategy also provides for the Croí Cónaithe initiative intended to increase supply in cities, towns and villages.
Collectively, these measures will improve affordability for all families or individuals across society wishing to secure a home.