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.
The Bill, which is the most comprehensive affordable housing Bill in the history of the State, passed Dáil Éireann with overwhelming support and will revert back to the Seanad for enactment.
Commenting Minister O’Brien said:
Over the past year Government have 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, will now for the first time ever, be put on a legislative footing in Ireland. Cost rental is 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 be long term secure tenure. Just yesterday we launched the first cost rental homes under our new scheme whereby tenants will pay monthly rents up to 50% lower than local market rates.
Under this Bill, Local Authorities will now be empowered to build, acquire and make available, homes at prices which are below open market levels meaning that middle income earners will be supported to own their own home. The new 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 reverses the decision made in 2015 to remove the affordability requirement from the Part V provision. Any future development will now have a Part V requirement set at 20%, with a 10% minimum requirement for social homes and up to a further 10% requirement for affordable homes where required, or where not so required, the additional percentage may be used towards social housing.
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.