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Home Ownership

The key housing objective is to
“to enable all households access good quality housing appropriate to household circumstances and in their particular community of choice”

The general principle underpinning the housing objective is that those who can afford to provide for their housing needs should do so either through home ownership or private rented accommodation and that targeted supports should be available to others having regard to the nature of their need. 

The housing policy statement marked a sea change in the role of the State in the provision of housing.  The previous policy of promotion of home ownership through various incentives will be discontinued.   


Affordable housing

In June 2011, the Minister for Housing and Planning announced the standing down of all affordable housing schemes.  While, the legislation underpinning the operation of the various schemes is not being repealed at this stage, the schemes will no longer be active due to the reality of market conditions across the country and the very significant easing of affordability. 

This has different implications for the different methods of delivery of affordable housing. 

The Department has previously signalled that no new projects should be commenced under the 1999 Affordable Housing Scheme. This scheme will remain inactive.  Similarly the Affordable Housing Initiative was closed off by Government decision in January 2010. 

The statement announces a review of Part V and places the wind down of affordable housing within the context of that review.  Part V remains in place subject to the outcome of this review which will determine how best planning gain can continue to be captured in the current market conditions.

Shared ownership schemes are part of the affordable housing programme and are being stood down as per the general affordable programme

Existing affordable purchasers

People who bought affordable homes in the past will continue to be subject to the provisions of the relevant legislation which applied to affordable housing when they purchased their dwelling. 

However, all schemes are kept under review and where adaptations can be made, such as allowing people to remortgage affordable purchases, this will done and it is intended to introduce such a provision in the next available suitable legislation.

Paths to homeownership

The Government is committed to supporting access to home ownership for lower income households and a range of paths to home ownership will remain in place in that regard. These include the incremental purchase scheme, the availability of loan finance from local authorities for house purchase, including open market purchase, and the tenant purchase scheme.


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