Housing News

Minister O’Brien welcomes the passing of the Affordable Housing Bill 2021

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien TD has welcomed the passing of the Affordable Housing Bill 2021 in Dáil Éireann (Thursday July 8 2021).

The Bill, which is the most comprehensive standalone affordable housing legislation in the history of the State, passed Dáil Éireann with overwhelming support and will revert back to the Seanad before enactment.

Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “Over the past year Government has put affordability and the chance to own a home at the very heart of our housing policy. We have worked especially hard to ensure that those hard pressed renters, the first-time buyers and the individuals living with their parents while trying to save every spare cent, will have a chance to own their own home or rent securely.

“Cost Rental, a new form of housing tenure in Ireland and a key commitment in the Programme for Government, will now for the first time ever, be put on a legislative footing in Ireland. Cost Rental marks a step change in the rental market. It’s a model where the tenant pays the cost of delivering, managing, and maintaining the homes only. It will prove long term and secure tenure. Just yesterday we launched the first Cost Rental homes under our new scheme whereby tenants will pay monthly rents which are up to 50% lower than local market rates. There is a strong delivery pipeline of Cost Rental homes which will be developed by Approved Housing Bodies, the Land Development Agency and our local authorities.

“Under the Affordable Housing Bill, Local Authorities will also now be empowered to build, acquire and make available, homes at prices which are below open market levels. This means that middle income earners will be supported to own their own home. The new ‘First Home’ shared equity scheme also provided for under this Bill will help to bridge the gap between the market value of a home in the private market and what an individual or couple can afford.

“Our Bill also provides for an important increase in Part V provision which amends the current 10% minimum requirement for social homes and increases this to 20% for social and affordable homes.

“I would like to thank all Oireachtas colleagues who have engaged with this Bill and for supporting it through the Dáil. I look forward to its enactment as quickly as possible and to the early delivery of Affordable Purchase and Cost Rental homes which this legislation has provided for” concluded Minister O’Brien.

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