More than 1,000 potential tenants have applied to live in the first 25 cost-rental homes in the State, ahead of the close of applications on Tuesday evening.
Housing association Clúid is offering the two-, three- and four-bedroom houses in the newly-built Taylor Hill estate in Balbriggan at rents between €935 and €1,150 a month, almost half of local market rents for similar properties.
The application system was opened at 9am last Wednesday. When Clúid closed the system at 5pm on Tuesday, a total of 1,080 applications had been received.
The two-bedroom houses, costing €935 a month, were by far the most popular with 675 applications made for just seven homes. Applicants will have a better chance with the three-bedroom houses, costing €1,100 a month, with 263 applications made for 17 homes. There is just one four-bed house costing €1,150 monthly. It attracted 142 applications.
From tomorrow, Clúid will run a lottery to select tenants. Applicants randomly selected for each property type will be given 48 hours to produce the evidence requested in the eligibility criteria. If they are unable to provide the required documents or fail to respond within 48 hours, their place will go to the next tenant selected by the lottery.
Under the cost-rental system, rents are based on the cost of building, managing and maintaining the homes, and not market rates. The scheme is aimed at workers who earn too much to qualify for social housing supports, but who cannot afford to buy or rent on the open market.
To be eligible for the Balbriggan houses prospective tenants must have a net household income of no more than €53,000 per annum; not to be in receipt of any social housing supports; and not own a property.
They must also have a household size that matches the size of the property, so the houses are not under- or over-occupied. For the two-bedroom house, the minimum number of residents is two adults, or an adult and child. The three-bedroom house is suitable for three adults, or a parent or parents with two or more children, while the four-bedroom house fits four adults or a parent/parents with three or more children.
Applicants must also be able to show they can afford to pay the rent, with Clúid carrying out an “affordability test” to ensure the rent is not more than 35 per cent of the net household income, unless the applicant can demonstrate they paid the same rent or higher for the preceding two years without defaulting.
Only one application per household can be submitted for a property. “Anyone applying multiple times will be disqualified from the lottery,” Clúid said.
Applicants will be notified within five working days after the lottery, whether they have been successful or not.
The tenancy is for a minimum of one year and up to six years. “Provided there are no issues with breach of tenancy or rent arrears, it will automatically roll over after that,” Clúid said. The houses are unfurnished apart from kitchen appliances.
The 25 houses are the first of 440 cost-rental homes expected to be provided by the end of this year in Dublin, Kildare and Cork. Tenants will pay rents that are at least 25 per cent below the local average.