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Cabinet approves priority drafting of Affordable Housing Bill 2020

Published on Tuesday, 22 Dec 2020
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-Government also gives approval to Land Development Agency Bill 2020-

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has welcomed the approval given at Cabinet for the priority drafting of the Affordable Housing Bill 2020 and to the text of the Land Development Agency Bill 2020.

Minister O’Brien said that when enacted, both Bills, which deliver on key commitments in the Programme for Government, would accelerate the provision of high quality housing for purchase or rent at an affordable price.

The Affordable Housing Bill 2020 provides for the establishment of a new Affordable Purchase Shared Equity scheme which will see the State take an equity share in a home while the owner takes out a mortgage with a bank on the remainder as usual. It is intended that the scheme, which will be finalised in the coming months, will be open to all new build homes subject to price caps and targeted at first time buyers. The Bill will also, for the first time, define ‘Cost Rental’ as a new form of tenure and place it on a statutory footing.  This legislation will provide the basis for the first 400 Cost Rental homes in the State which will be delivered in 2021 with many more in the pipeline in the years thereafter.

The Land Development Agency Bill 2020 will see the LDA established as Designated Activity Company (DAC) through primary legislation. This will allow the LDA to drive strategic land assembly to ensure the sustainable development of new and regenerated communities well-served by essential services.

Commenting on the Affordable Housing 2020 Bill Minister O’Brien said, “The introduction of an Affordable Purchase Shared Equity scheme will assist those who do not qualify for social housing but are struggling financially to meet their housing needs from the market. It will help them secure their own home by bridging the gap between the mortgage available to them and the price of the home they want. By doing this it will also boost housing supply.

“The final details of the scheme are being negotiated with stakeholders and will be informed by our engagement with the EU Commission but I am very glad to have received cabinet approval for the priority drafting of the Bill and look forward to taking it through the Oireachtas at the earliest opportunity.

Speaking about the Land Development Agency Bill 2020 he added, “Through this Bill, the LDA will be empowered to provide homes for affordable purchase, cost rental and social housing. They will be tasked with putting in place appropriate mechanisms and collaborative structures between public and other bodies to develop public lands and other lands and will provide advice on the management and use of such lands.

“Both of these Bills represent a critical step for the Government in delivering the commitments under ‘Housing for All’ – increasing social housing stock, putting the dream of homeownership back in reach and providing peace of mind to those looking for security of tenure,” he concluded.

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