The relevant provisions of Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 have been commenced. It provides a statutory basis for the delivery of affordable housing for purchase by local authorities. Part 5 contains significant detail on the procedures and operation of the new Affordable Purchase Scheme.
The primary legislation will be supported by associated regulations, which are currently at the final legal drafting stage, following extensive consultation between my Department, the Housing Agency and local authorities. The regulations, once finalised shortly, together with guidance, will be issued to local authorities.
The Scheme is based on local authorities providing, directly or indirectly, below market price housing. The local authority takes a charge against the property equal to the discount provided. The Act provides for a charge up to a maximum of 40% of the market value. The charge is fully repayable at re-sale or at the end of the charge period. Repayments will be paid into a centralised Affordable Housing Fund which will administered by the Housing Finance Agency.