Laois County, Ireland Affordable Housing Scheme

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Laois County, Ireland

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Type: Policy

Status: Ongoing

Source File: http://www.laois.ie/Housing/AffordableHomes/

Description:

Under the terms of the scheme, local authorities provide additional new houses on land available to them in or near urban centres where house prices have created an affordability gap. The houses will be offered for sale to eligible purchasers at cost price and, accordingly, at a significant discount from the market value of comparable houses in the area. Purchasers will be offered mortgage finance at favourable interest rates and a subsidy will reduce further mortgage repayments for households with incomes of up to €28,000.

There are two types of Affordable Homes

Type 1
This is for properties built on council lands as part of a public private partnership.

The land cost is subsidised and the houses are sold subject to a clawback if sold within twenty years.

In order to qualify you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • You must be in need of housing, in employment and your income in the previous tax year was less than €40,000 for a single income household and €100,000 for a double income household. (Based on main earners income x 2.5 plus subsidiary earners income)
  • You are a Local Authority Tenant or Tenant Purchaser who wishes to buy a private house and to return your present house to the Local Authority
  • You have been approved for inclusion on the Local Authority’s Housing Waiting List; You are a tenant in a dwelling provided by a Voluntary Body, for a period in excess of one year.

Type 2
The second type of Affordable Housing Scheme refers to properties, which are acquired under Part V of the Planning & Development Act 2000 (as amended). The qualifying criteria for the allocation of properties acquired under Part V are as follows:

  • You must be in need of housing and in employment.
  • Your income in the previous tax year was less than €40,000 for a single income household and €100,000 for a double income household (Based on main earners income x 2.5 plus subsidiary income).
  • You are a person for whom potential mortgage repayments for a suitable dwelling in the private market would exceed 35% of your annual net income.
  • You are a Local Authority Tenant or Tenant Purchaser who wishes to buy a private house and to return your present house to the Local Authority;
  • You have been approved for inclusion on the Local Authority’s Housing Waiting List.
  • You are a tenant in a dwelling provided by a Voluntary Body, for a period in excess of one year.
  • Calculations are based on your income in the year proceeding application.

In general, only first time buyers will qualify for the scheme. Applicants who currently or previously owned land or houses will only be considered in exceptional circumstances where the Council is satisfied that the applicant is in need of affordable housing. Such applicants will be required to provide proof of special circumstances that render them in need of affordable housing (eg. Legal separation, divorce etc.).

How can I finance the purchase of one of these houses?
Properties can be purchased by way of a loan from Laois County Council or by private mortgage finance from the EBS, Bank of Ireland or First Active.

There are two loan types currently available from Laois County Council:

  1. Annuity Type Loan;
  2. Shared Ownership Loan (part mortgage and part rented).

Each eligible applicant will be assessed in order to determine the maximum amount that they would be entitled to borrow under the Affordable Housing Scheme. If the maximum amount an applicant can borrow is not adequate to purchase the particular house on offer, the applicant may be offered the opportunity to purchase the house under the Shared Ownership Scheme, at the discretion of Laois County Council.

NB. Affordable Houses will only be offered to persons in employment who have the means to repay any loan offered to them.

How much can I borrow?
Each application is examined on its own merits, taking into account the applicant’s income and expenditure. Loans will not exceed 97% of the cost of the dwelling subject to a maximum of €185,000. (Persons over 50 years of age are not eligible for a loan.)

Is a deposit required?
Yes, under the Annuity Scheme a minimum deposit of 3% of the purchase price of the house is required. If an affordable house is purchased with a shared ownership mortgage a deposit of €1,270 is required.

What will determine your place on the list?
Priority in relation to sale of houses under the Affordable Housing Scheme will be determined on a “First come, first served” basis. Separate priority or waiting lists are kept for each area. The date the application is fully complete is the date from which an applicant will be placed on the Waiting List.

What is the Clawback?
The clawback is the difference between the market value of the property and the purchase price at the time of the sale of a property, defined as a percentage.

Example: Market value of house: €175,000, Sale Price of house: €150,000, Clawback percentage calculated as follows:

175,000 - 150,000 = 25,000
25,000 x 100 = 14.29%
175,000

What type of property can I buy?
Two-bedroomed houses will normally be offered to households consisting of three persons or less.Three-bedroomed houses will normally only be offered to households consisting of five persons or less. Four-bedroomed houses will normally only be offered to households consisting of three or more persons. All offers will be at the discretion of Laois County Council.

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