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Housing Schemes

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 19 January 2022

Wednesday, 19 January 2022

Questions (503)

Eoin Ó Broin


503. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the total allocation for the shared equity loan fund for 2022; the amount he expects the pillar banks to add to the fund; the agency that is planned to administer the fund; if the staff of this agency will be seconded from the pillar banks; and when the loan facility will be open to applications. [63630/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The provisions of the Affordable Housing Act 2021 establish the basis for four affordable housing measures. Taken together, these measures will deliver on the Programme for Government commitment to put affordability at the heart of the housing system and prioritise the increased supply of affordable homes. This will be done through (1) delivering affordable homes for purchase via local authority led affordable purchase dwelling arrangements, (2) the introduction of a new form of tenure and delivery of homes under Cost Rental, (3) a new ‘First Home’ 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. 

Specifically, Part 4 of the Act provides the basis for the establishment of the First Home scheme which, as has been acknowledged by the Central Bank of Ireland, is an equity product rather than a loan scheme.

The First Home scheme will support first-time buyers on moderate incomes to buy a new-build home. The banking sector has confirmed it is committed to working with the State to develop and deliver this scheme. Budget 2022 allocated €44 million to my Department for First Home. The banking sector has agreed in principle to match State equity funding in order to increase the pool of funding available to potential new homeowners under the scheme. Subject to the necessary approvals by all parties, it is anticipated that the First Home scheme will operate for the period 2022 to 2026 utilising overall funding of c.€400m.

It is intended that the scheme will be operated by a newly-established Designated Activity Company. Significant work on the detailed design and parameters of the scheme is continuing.  Full scheme details will be confirmed on completion of this work. It is anticipated that initial activity on key areas of work including public communications will begin in Q1 and in advance of First Home’s first receipt of applications and deployment of equity support scheduled for Q2 this year.

Question No. 504 answered with Question No. 489.