Thursday, 21 November 2019

Ceisteanna (267)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

267. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of the affordable rental scheme which he and An Taoiseach launched in County Cork in recent days; the unit cost of developing these units with a breakdown of the site and build cost; the qualifying criteria for future tenants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48426/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I assume the Question is referring to a development in Boherboy Road, Mayfield, Cork City, that I launched with An Taoiseach on 16 November 2019. From the outset, I would like to clarify that this development comprises homes that will be made available for purchase under the affordable dwelling purchase arrangements rather than being made available for rental.

In line with the commitments in Rebuilding Ireland to support the delivery of more affordable homes to buy or rent, this Government has allocated €310 million under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF), from 2019 to 2021, to provide infrastructure to support the delivery of some 6,200 homes on local authority lands. This funding is being made available in areas where local authorities have demonstrated a requirement for affordable housing and the viability to deliver such housing from their sites.

To date, I have allocated SSF funding of €127 million, in support of 35 projects in 14 local authority areas, for infrastructure works that will see the delivery of almost 3,200 affordable homes. One of the 35 approved projects, is the aforementioned Boherboy Road development in Cork City Council.

This site at Boherboy is local authority owned lands and has received approval for SSF funding of almost €5m for infrastructure that will support the delivery of 116 affordable homes. In addition, 37 further homes will be made available on the site for social housing. The homes made available for affordable purchase will be a mix of detached, semi-detached and terraced with a variety of house types and designs. Cork City Council have indicated to my Department that this project will be delivered in five different phases, with the first phase to be available in Q3 of 2020.

Cork City Council has provided a breakdown of the house type, the number of affordable homes, the anticipated starting price of the affordable homes and the floor area.

House Type

Number of Units

Pricing (From)

Approx. Floor Areas (m²)

2 Bedroom House

24

€198,000

70m²

3 Bedroom House

92

€ 223,000

92m²

It should be noted that the above-mentioned prices take into account the maximum discount of €20,000 that is available to purchasers through the Help to Buy Scheme. Therefore the prices quoted above are the minimum sales prices to eligible purchasers and based on their individual applicable discounts.

Homes delivered under the SSF are subject to the provisions of Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 which was commenced in June 2018. This legislation now provides the statutory basis for the delivery of affordable housing for purchase in the State. Regulations in respect of the making of Schemes of Priority were signed on 12 March 2019, and these were issued to local authorities on 22 March 2019. The purpose of a Scheme of Priority is to set out the affordable purchase arrangements at local authority level. This includes the methodology that will be applied by local authorities to determine the order of priority to be accorded to eligible households where the demand for such affordable dwellings exceeds the number available. I can confirm that Cork City Council submitted their Scheme of Priority to my Department on 3 May 2019, which I subsequently approved on 28 June 2019.

In line with the legal requirements of the Affordable Dwelling Purchase Arrangements, further regulations will be put in place over the coming months regarding eligibility and other matters. When the operational procedures for the scheme are finalised, and before dwellings are made available for purchase under the scheme, a programme of communication will be undertaken by my Department and local authorities.