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Affordable housing bill published in Ireland

Words: Roger Milne
Affordable housing / Shutterstock_176229827

The Irish Government has published legislation designed to boost the provision of affordable housing.

The Affordable Housing Bill 2020 provides for the introduction of three new schemes that ministers insist will increase the supply of affordable homes. These measures will mean that local authorities can deliver affordable homes for purchase on their lands for the first time in more than a decade.

In addition, a new Affordable Purchase Shared Equity scheme will be set up where the state would provide equity support to households seeking to purchase homes in the private market but are unable to secure the full mortgage to do so.

There will also be a new form of tenure in ‘cost rental’. The legislation will provide the basis for the first 400 cost rental homes in the state to be delivered in 2021, with many more in the pipeline.

Housing minister Darragh O’Brien said: “As part of our approach of using multiple policies across the short and long term to address the affordability crisis we are expanding direct state building of affordable homes to open up home ownership opportunities. This bill sets out a new legislative basis for direct state-led construction of affordable homes for purchase.

“The scheme will increase housing supply as it helps to improve viability by bridging the gap between the maximum mortgage that might be available to a household and the actual cost of a new home for ordinary income families.”

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