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Housing Provision

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 23 June 2022

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Ceisteanna (215)

Réada Cronin

Ceist:

215. Deputy Réada Cronin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if his Department has satisfied itself that there are a sufficient number of affordable properties in the north County Kildare; if he will publish the methods used to reach such a conclusion; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33298/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Housing for All Strategy delivers on the Programme for Government commitment to step up housing supply and put affordability at the heart of the housing system, with an ambitious target of 300,000 homes over the next decade for social, affordable and cost rental, private rental and private ownership housing. 54,000 affordable home interventions will be delivered between now and 2030 to be facilitated by local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies (AHB), the Land Development Agency (LDA) and through a strategic partnership between the State and retail banks.

Delivery of affordable housing, in accordance with the schemes set out in the Affordable Housing Act, 2021 and the funding being made available, will be underpinned by local authorities' Housing Delivery Action Plans. Local authorities, including Kildare County Council, submitted their initial Plans to me in December 2021. Preparation of the Plans allowed each local authority to assess the level of demand with affordability constraint in their area based on the Housing Need and Demand Assessment and plan provision accordingly. The Plans are being revised and updated by local authorities in the light of ongoing engagement and clarifications, and I expect that they will be ready for publication shortly. They will provide a comprehensive overview of projected delivery of affordable housing in Kildare, and nationally.

Funding is made available by Government to assist local authority and AHB delivery of affordable housing, for purchase and rent, through the Affordable Housing Fund, previously known as the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF), and the Cost Rental Equity Loan (CREL). SSF funding will support the delivery of 10 affordable purchase homes of a mixed tenure housing development at Ardclough Road in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. Kildare County Council has advised my Department, construction is expected to begin on site by the end of 2023, with projected delivery of these affordable homes by the 1st Quarter of 2025. 

40 CREL-supported Cost Rental homes were tenanted by the Clúid AHB at Barnhall Meadows in Leixlip, Co. Kildare in December 2021, where cost rents charged are approximately 40% below comparable market rents in the area. A further 16 Cost Rental homes will be tenanted in this development by the end of this month.

The most recent Cost Rental vacancies in Kildare have just been advertised by the Clúid AHB and are located at The Paddocks in Newbridge. The first phase of the development includes 46 one, two and three bedroom apartments, with cost-covering rents for these apartments at €1,000 per month for the one bedroom units, €1,240 for the two bedroom units and €1,350 for the three bedroom units, which represent significant discounts of approximately 25-30% on market rents in the area. These Cost Rental homes will also be tenanted by the end of this month.

Under the 2nd  Call for Proposals for CREL funding, issued to AHBs in October 2021, I gave approval in principle to the allocation of €53.6 million for the provision of 521 Cost Rental homes across 11 sites in 7 local authority areas, including Kildare. Three of these 11 sites, comprising a total of 186 Cost Rental homes, are currently scheduled to be delivered in Kildare in 2022. The necessary financial and commercial arrangements in relation to the other projects approved under the second call for proposals under CREL are being completed by the AHBs concerned.  When these arrangements are concluded, details of the projects, including specific locations, housing typologies and cost-covering rents, will be made public.

In addition, the LDA has submitted a revised planning permission for 219 social and affordable units at Devoy Barracks in Naas, Co. Kildare. The LDA will comply with Part V regulations and the remaining homes are intended to be a blended mix of Cost Rental and affordable purchase.

The First Home Scheme will be delivered via a strategic partnership between the State and participating mortgage lenders and I can confirm that all parties are working with a view to deploying the scheme next month.  It will improve access to newly-built homes, below the median price point, by using a shared equity model to bridge the gap between mortgage finance and the cost of new homes. This measure, targeted at First Time or fresh start buyers, will allow purchasers to exit the rental market, help to build developer confidence in realisable consumer demand, and contribute to the recovery of our construction sector following the Covid-19 emergency. It will be available nationwide.

Other measures to allow buyers to affordably access newly-constructed housing such as the Help to Buy Scheme and the Local Authority Home Loan (formerly the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan), are also available to eligible purchasers nationally to make home ownership more affordable. Information on these schemes is available at the following links:

www.revenue.ie/en/property/help-to-buy-incentive/index.aspx, and

localauthorityhomeloan.ie/

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