Written Answers. - Housing Grants.

Paul Connaughton

Ceist:

263 Mr. Connaughton asked the Minister for the Environment Heritage and Local Government the reason his Department is refusing to pay a site subsidy for affordable housing at Portumna, County Galway and west-side Fana Burca, Knocknacarra; if his attention has been drawn to the fact that without the subsidy many applicants will be unable to repay the loan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19173/03]

Applications for site subsidy under the affordable housing scheme in respect of both developments were examined in my Department. With regard to the scheme at Fána Búrca, it was considered that it should be possible to sell the houses without recourse to site subsidy. The development at Portumna was also considered affordable given the average cost of providing the houses is €125,165 which is considerably less than the available local authority maximum house loan. It is open to applicants in both developments to consider availing of the shared ownership scheme which offers home ownership in a number of steps to purchasers who cannot afford full ownership outright in the traditional way.