Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Ceisteanna (72)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

72. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will consider promoting schemes of private serviced sites in all areas nationally on which first-time persons seeking homes for the first time could build their own homes to specific specifications as was the case in the past; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4601/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Local authorities already have powers to make low-cost sites available to individuals, who are qualified for social housing support, and collectively, to voluntary or co-operative not-for-profit housing associations.

Separately, I am providing funding of €25 million, over 2018 and 2019, for a targeted programme, where the local authority will make low-cost serviced sites available to approved housing bodies or co-operative housing associations in specific areas for affordable housing.

This approach has worked well in Ballymun between Dublin City Council and the O’Cualann Co-Operative. Through the Council providing fully serviced land at a nominal value, the price at which homes could be offered to eligible purchasers was significantly reduced. I would like to see this approach delivered on a greater scale in other areas, subject to an overall national set of criteria.  My Department is currently drawing up the criteria for access to the Exchequer-funded scheme, taking account of broader policy on affordable housing, and will be seeking submissions from local authorities in the coming weeks.

Last week, I also announced  the introduction of a new  Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan which will be available with effect from tomorrow, 1 February 2018. This will enable credit-worthy first-time buyers to access sustainable mortgage lending to purchase new or second-hand properties within a suitable price range. 

Finally, first-time buyers can also avail of the Help-To-Buy Scheme, which is intended to  alleviate some of the challenges faced by first-time buyers in providing  the required 10% deposit of the market value of the property.