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Waterford’s first Affordable Housing Schemes to be advertised very shortly

117 Affordable 3- & 4-bedroom A-rated houses at Deerpark and Summerfields

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins, party spokesman on Housing, Local Government and Heritage has said he expects Waterford City and County Council to advertise the first two Affordable Housing Schemes in Waterford City very shortly. The two schemes which are the first developer owned sites to be advertised for affordable housing nationally marks a major milestone in a rollout which Senator Cummins described as ‘the first of many which will be delivered in the time ahead’.

Senator Cummins said “I have been working closely with Waterford City and County Council, local developers Frisby Homes and Whitebox, the Department of Housing and the Land Development Agency to bring forward these schemes which I’m confident there will be huge interest and demand for. It is important therefore to say, these are the first of several schemes which will be delivered in the time ahead, with construction re-commenced at Mountneil, a further phase at Summerfields and two council owned sites on the Carrickpherish Road and Ballycashin. Proposals are also being worked on for Tramore and Dungarvan which are of the utmost importance”.

He said “As party spokesman on Housing, I am acutely aware of the challenges faced by individuals and families in purchasing a home. While house commencements are up over 31% in Waterford, inflation across the construction sector has resulted in rising house prices and that is why I have been working night and day within government to ensure that Waterford is prioritised for affordable purchase housing units which has been achieved. I visited both sites recently and it is fantastic to see many of the units at roof level with expected completion before Christmas/early New Year.”

Senator Cummins said he has been assisting approximately forty constituents who have been in touch with him to ensure they have all the required information ready for when applications open. “I would be more than happy to assist anyone else who wishes to get in touch with me by phone or email. Generally, applicants will be required to complete an online application, provide their income details (Salary Certs – 12 if paid weekly, 6 if paid fortnightly, 3 if paid monthly; self employed will require accounts to be submitted); evidence of savings (12 months of bank accounts); Help to Buy confirmation (via Revenue online); PPSN details; and mortgage approval in principle”.

“The 3 bed properties will in the first instance be for households of at least 2 persons & 4 bed properties for households of at least 3 persons. There will be exact minimum and maximum income thresholds for the different house types within each development which will be set out exactly by the council, however it is important to say that a couple or family with an income above the threshold may still qualify if they cannot get a mortgage to the full value of 3.5 times their income due to age or some other factor and likewise those below the threshold may also qualify if for example they had substantial deposits which could have been attained through an inheritance for example”.

Senator Cummins also identified the new First Home Shared Equity Scheme as an avenue for those who have a gap between their maximum mortgage and the cost of a new housing unit. “The new First Homes scheme is now up and running with the last couple of months and it has seen great demand. Just like the affordable purchase scheme, it is based on an equity model and it can be combined with the help to buy scheme which provides a grant of up to €30,000 support towards your deposit. It is very unfortunate that all opposition parties are opposed to this new scheme and the help to buy scheme which has assisted so many young people in getting their foot on the ladder”.

“The First Homes scheme helps an individual or couple to bridge the gap with an equity of up to 20% between their maximum mortgage and the cost of a new home in any estate in Waterford. If you took a €300,000 house as an example, the deposit on that would be 10% or €30,000 (help to buy) and the mortgage required would be €270,000. Under the central bank rules that would require an income of approximately €77,000 (3.5 times your income). The problem is that is, beyond the reach of many. With the First Homes scheme up to a 20% equity can be taken in the property so in the case of the €300,000 house, €60,000 can be taken as an equity, so a mortgage of €210,000 would now be required, meaning a couple with a combined income of €60,000 would be able to purchase that €300,000 house. More information on this scheme can be found on”.

Senator Cummins concluded by saying “Both the Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme and the First Home Shared Equity Scheme will ensure a whole cohort of people who have been locked out of the housing market heretofore are able to purchase and own their own home. The equity in both cases can be paid off when you are in a better position to do so, but importantly, when it is fully repaid, you own the home outright which is not the case under Sinn Fein’s alternative housing plans which state you will never own the land on which the house is built, and you will be restricted in selling the property on in the future to someone within a certain income band.

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