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Local authorities in attempt to buy unbuilt homes for affordable housing

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Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has joined a growing list of local authorities putting out a call to developers to consider selling them unbuilt houses and apartments .

hey have done this in an attempt to speed up the delivery of affordable and social housing.

The Department of Housing this week invited a number of local authorities around the country to call on house builders and developers to enter into advance purchase arrangements “to secure turn-key homes in areas where the need for affordable housing is most acute”.

They include local authorities in counties Dublin, Waterford, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny, Westmeath, Meath, Wicklow, Kildare, Louth and Laois.

The scheme is being facilitated through the department’s new Affordable Housing Fund – part of its overall affordable housing budget that will set aside €2.9bn up to 2030 to deliver affordable homes for purchase and rent.

In exchange for state funding to a maximum subvention of €100,000 per unit, a minimum 15pc discount must be achieved on the open-market values of comparable new homes for purchase.

There must also be a minimum 25pc discount on open-market rents for comparable cost rental properties, according to a department spokesman. 

In order to qualify, there must be a minimum advance purchase of 10 properties and a maximum of 150 dwellings in any individual scheme, although Dún-Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it would consider all proposals in order to speed up the delivery of social and affordable housing.

The council’s director of housing, Catherine Keenan, welcomed the initiative.

She said the new fund is an important measure toward that ambition, allowing greater and more efficient delivery of homes at below market rates.

“I urge all home builders and housing developers to consider the many benefits of an advance purchase arrangement with the council, including financial surety and efficiency,” she said.

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