New affordable housing schemes

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government has announced details of 3 schemes aimed at making homes more affordable for buyers and renters:

  • The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan
  • The Affordable Purchase Scheme
  • The Affordable Rental Scheme

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan will provide local authority mortgages with reduced interest rates to first-time buyers. The loans can be used for new and second-hand properties, or to build a home. Buyers can borrow up to 90% of the market value of the property. The loans will have interest rates of 2% to 2.25% and buyers can fix the rates for the term of the mortgage, so they have the same repayments for the lifetime of the loan. Your household income must be below certain limits. Buyers must be able to show that they can afford the loan repayments and have had two insufficient offers or refusals for a mortgage from two lending institutions. The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan will be available nationwide from local authorities from Thursday, 1 February 2018. For more information about the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan and income limits see rebuildingirelandhomeloan.ie.

Under the Affordable Purchase Scheme local authorities will provide state-owned land at reduced or no cost to developers to facilitate the building of affordable homes. Eligible buyers can then buy these affordable homes at a discount. The State will retain an equity share in each affordable home, which can be paid off, interest free, by the purchaser at a later date. Initial sites and finance have been provided for this scheme.

The Affordable Rental Scheme aims to tackle affordability issues in the rental market, using a cost rental model. Cost rental means that the level of rent paid to a landlord provides them with a minimal profit, while still covering the cost of building the property, ongoing management and maintenance charges. This means renters have greater certainty about their rent. This scheme is currently in a pilot phase.