More than 2,000 first-time buyers have lodged an interest in buying the first 500 affordable homes planned for south Dublin in more than a decade.
South Dublin County Council plans to build homes priced below €300,000 at three sites in the west and southwest of the city, with the first homes expected to go on sale from next year.
About 300 homes will be available to eligible buyers in Killinarden, Tallaght; 135 homes in phase one of the recently approved Clonburris Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) close to Adamstown, and 100 homes in Rathcoole close to City West and the Kildare border.
The homes will be available to low- and middle-income buyers who qualify for the State’s “affordable dwelling purchase scheme” .
While the Department of Housing has yet to issue local authorities with the full terms of the new national scheme, the “scheme of priority”, which determines how prospective buyers will be chosen, has been agreed.
Eligible applicants living in the council area for at least 12 months will be first in line for the available homes, any remaining homes would be offered to applicants who had a child in an educational institution within a set distance of the property, and then those who also had a household member with a job a set distance from the house.
Homes will be aimed at workers who cannot secure mortgages to buy on the open market, but do not qualify for social housing. While the income thresholds have yet to be set, it has been indicated that single applicants must earn less than €50,000, while the limit for a couple will be €75,000. Once the homes are built, it is likely they will be sold to qualifying buyers at a discount of up to 40 per cent on market rates.
In the last three months of 2019 the council asked interested buyers who thought they may qualify for the housing scheme to complete an online assessment so it could gauge if there were “sufficient levels of interest” before it finalised its plans.
A total of 2,140 expressions of interest were received with 848 first preferences for Clonburris, 339 for Killinarden and 831 for Rathcoole. Overall, 1,740 of the prospective buyers said they would be interested in affordable housing in Clonburris, with 1,831 interested in Rathcoole, and 1,369 saying they would buy in Killinarden.
The council stressed that completion of the assessment “does not imply eligibility or convey approval in any form, to a future offer of affordable housing” and it was not “a waiting list and will not determine priority”.
However, it said it may use the assessment to establish a register of provisional interest and make contact with applicants to “confirm continuing interest and for final confirmation of actual interest”.
The council said it hoped the department would confirm “the full terms and eligibility criteria for the national affordable housing scheme early in 2020”.
Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy recently said the "arrangements" for the scheme were currently being drafted.