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Legislation for reasonably priced housing scheme will be available within weeks

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said that legislation on the affordable housing scheme, which would allow low- and middle-income workers to buy state-subsidised housing, would come before the Dáil in weeks.

Budget 2021 has allocated $ 75 million for a shared equity scheme to provide 2,000 affordable purchase homes next year, but the Minister is not sure to say how many of these homes will be ready by next year.

In a post budget briefing on Wednesday, O’Brien said that the scheme is in a progressive stage and will soon come into action next year.  

“What was really important in this budget in my view was to get money behind that to be able to deliver homes in 2021 and we will be able to deliver homes in 2021.” He said. 

While asking about the availability of all 2000 homes in the upcoming year the Minister said that not all of the will be available, but some will be available if everything goes according to the plan.

The state’s last affordable housing project was discontinued in 2011. Five years ago a new plan was announced in the 2016 budget but it was never implemented.

In relation to the scheme, the banking industry had been in discussions with the government since months and there would be enough interest across the sector, said chief executive of Banking and Payments Federation Ireland Brian Hayes.

It is hoped that the banks and the housing department will invest the money in a separate vehicle at the behest of certain sections of the department, which will be willing to set up some equities to finance the purchase of a new home.

Based on the market value at that time, it can be understood that the homeowner can buy the equity shares held by the particular purpose firm.

Mr O’Brien said that roughly 7,000 number of social homes will be built this year, but this numbers also include privately build units too.

Latest figures, released last week reveals that only 725 social homes were built this year till now.

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