Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has criticised the Minister for Housing for the ongoing delay in the publication of the affordable housing regulations. The delay is hugely frustrating for all those anxiously waiting to see how they can apply to access a much-needed affordable home.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“The Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien confirmed, in response to a parliamentary question I asked, that only some of the regulations around the eligibility criteria for the affordable housing scheme will be published by the end of 2021. The rest will not be published until 2022.
“The ongoing delay around the publication of these regulations is unacceptable. The affordable housing bill was passed on the 8th of July and five months later we still don’t know when people will be able to apply.
“When the legislation was being debated in the Dáil, I asked the Minister if he would also provide us with the regulations at the same time so we could scrutinise both.
“Unfortunately, they were not ready, and it looks like despite all the Ministers bluster around this Bill we still don’t know how it will actually help people.
“Local authorities and those tasked with delivering these homes also need clarity so they can plan for the coming years.
“Five months after the passing of the Affordable Housing Bill is too long to wait. Especially on an issue this important.
“I would urge the Minister not to delay any longer and prioritise the publication of all of the regulations this year.”
The Parliamentary Question response is below
For Written Answer on : 14/12/2021
Question Number(s): 323 Question Reference(s): 61893/21
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: Eoin Ó Broin T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage when the new regulations for the affordable housing schemes will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Housing for All Strategy delivers on the Programme for Government commitment to step up housing supply and put affordability at the heart of the housing system, with an ambitious target of 300,000 homes over the next decade for social, affordable and cost rental, private rental and private ownership housing.
Measures to deliver this housing are supported by over €4 billion in funding annually, representing the highest ever level of Government investment in building social and affordable housing. 54,000 affordable homes interventions will be delivered between now and 2030 to be facilitated by local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies, the Land Development Agency and through a strategic partnership between the State and retail banks. From this figure, there will be 36,000 affordable purchase and 18,000 Cost Rental homes.
The delivery of affordable housing under Housing for All is being facilitated through a number of affordable schemes. These schemes will assist potential purchasers and renters in making housing more affordable. The Affordable Housing Act 2021 sets out the legislative basis for several such schemes, including a Local Authority Affordable Purchase scheme, the basis for a Cost Rental sector in Ireland, and the ‘First Home’ affordable purchase shared equity scheme.
Regulations under this Act covering the Local Authority Affordable Purchase scheme and Cost Rental are currently being finalised and once complete, will include information in relation to income and eligibility. It is anticipated that a number of these Regulations will be in published before year end, with the remainder in January 2022.