New affordable housing for first-time buyers, the Housing Minister has said. Cabinet unanimously approved the Affordable Housing Bill 2021. More than 6,000 homes will be built over the next four years under this new scheme.

Darragh O’Brien said “It is the most comprehensive legislation that has been brought forward for affordable housing.” The shared equity scheme is helping out a lot of young first time buyers.

The bill aims to introduce affordable housing through a shared equity scheme with local authorities or Government. It is available to first-time buyers, availing of their maximum mortgage entitlement, who are still unable to buy a home at its market price. The legislation will require housing developments in every local authority area to consist of 10% social housing and 10% affordable homes.

Proposals under the scheme would see affordable housing price caps introduced at varying levels, based on location. This scheme would see house-buyers pay no additional fees in the first five years and a “very small servicing fee” thereafter.

Proposals under the government’s scheme will cap the cost of an ‘affordable home’ at €450,000 in Dublin City and Dún Laoghaire.

A €450,000 home would be available to a couple with a joint income of €90,000.

The price caps are based on local authority area, and there are seven bands.

An affordable home in South Dubin, Fingal, Cork and Galway cities, as well as Wicklow will be capped at €400k. There will be €350k cap in Cork County, Limerick, Kildare and Meath, a €300k in Clare, WestMeath and Wexford, and a €275k in Carlow, Louth and Offaly. In Kerry, Kilkenny, Laois, Waterford and Roscommon there will be a €250k cap, and a €225k in Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Longford, Mayo, Monaghan, Sligo and Tipperary.

Under the government’s proposals, which are still subject to Central Bank approval, if you’re a first-time buyer who can’t afford a new-build up to and including those cap values, then you can apply for the State to take up to 30% equity in the home.

The minister said the government’s Housing for All plan will be published in July.