03 Oct 2022

Louth council moving quickly to secure affordable housing

Louth council moving quickly to secure affordable housing

Louth Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan has welcomed the announcement that Louth County Council are putting out a call to builders to consider offering homes with planning permission, where construction has not yet commenced, to the local authority under an advance purchase turnkey arrangement.

Senator McGreehan said: “I am delighted that Louth County Council are acting quickly to secure much needed affordable housing for those for whom home ownership is just out of reach. Working in this way will also mean that housing delivery will be brought forward, bringing homes on stream earlier.

“The funding commitment Fianna Fáil in government has made to affordable housing under “Housing for All” and our work to extend and reform the Affordable Housing Fund will now bear fruit and allow local authorities to explore a range of options to address affordable need.

“The homes which will ultimately be sold as a result of these arrangements will be sold at discounted prices to first-time buyers, and those seeking a fresh start, that are priced out of housing in their areas. Some may also be delivered as cost rental homes at rents targeted at a minimum 25% below open market rates.”

The Fianna Fáil Senator added: “Alongside this delivery pathway, I know local authorities are planning, and already on-site constructing in some cases, affordable housing developments that will be sold or rented to eligible households. Many families will see their dream of a home of their own realised.”

This call is targeted at advance purchase opportunities for a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 150 dwellings in any one scheme.

Home builders and housing developers are being asked to consider offering homes (houses or apartments) with planning permission, where construction has not yet commenced, to local authorities under an advance purchase turnkey arrangement.

This advance purchase opportunity has been put in place to provide for accelerated delivery of housing generally, and primarily, to provide affordable homes for eligible applicants nominated by the local authority in areas where a significant need for affordable or social housing has been identified.

It is anticipated that, depending on circumstances and proposals, local authorities will enter into an advance purchase agreement for an approved number of unbuilt homes, with payment on completion.

The advance purchase agreement also provides for the direct sale of homes by the developer to an eligible purchaser nominated by the local authority.
Joint venture arrangements that include an Approved Housing Body (AHB) will also be considered.

Under the “Housing for All” Plan, significant funding streams have been secured to increase the number of new-build local authority homes for social and affordable housing.

Local authorities can access a new Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) to assist in meeting the cost of delivery of affordable housing and deliver affordability to approved purchasers and renters. This AHF forms part of an overall affordable housing budget which will provide €2.9 billion over the period to 2030 to deliver homes for affordable purchase and rent.

Home builders and housing developers are asked to contact the relevant local authority housing department for more information and to submit an expression of interest. The local authority will consider the initial proposal and, should it meet housing needs, cost and eligibility criteria, additional information will be sought to move forward with the process.

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