Thousands express interest in first few hundred SDCC affordable homes

by Padraig Conlon

South Dublin County Council have received a phenomenal response to their affordable homes scheme.

Since launching a portal in September for provisional expressions of interest from the public over 2,000 first time buyers have expressed an interest in buying the first 535 affordable homes. 

In advance of finalising its plans, the Council said they launched the portal to establish that there are “sufficient levels of interest.”

The council also said that completion of the assessment “does not imply eligibility” and it was not “a waiting list and will not determine priority”.

While the final purchase price of the affordable housing has not yet been determined, SDCC say it is likely to be below €300,000.

The funding to build the new homes came via an allocation of €18 million to South Dublin County Council by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government through the government’s Serviced Sites Fund.

The three sites initially being developed plan for an estimated: 300 affordable homes in Killinarden, 135 homes in phase one of the Clonburris Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) scheme and 100 homes in Rathcoole.

The homes, expected to go on sale from next year, will be available to low- and middle-income buyers who qualify for the State’s “affordable dwelling purchase scheme.”

Of the 2,140 expressions of interest received, 848 first preferences were for Clonburris, 339 for Killinarden and 831 for Rathcoole.

1,740 people expressed interest in affordable housing in Clonburris, 1,831 in Rathcoole, and 1,369 in Killinarden.

Those eligible applicants who are living in the SDCC area for at least 12 months are set to be first in line for the available homes with any remaining homes offered to applicants who have a child in an educational institution within a set distance of the property.

Homes will be aimed at workers who cannot get a mortgage but do not qualify for social housing.

The income thresholds have yet to be set.

Daniel McLoughlin, Chief Executive of South Dublin County Council, said:

“The delivery of affordable housing is a significant but challenging element of our housing strategy.

“We hope that early engagement with potential applicants will serve us well in understanding sentiment around this issue and guide us in our decision-making.”

South Dublin County Council aims to build up to 4,500 homes across south Dublin over the coming years, more than 70% of which will be social and affordable housing, under a €1 billion investment plan.

The final breakdown of the planned five mixed tenure developments will be decided based on the final master plans approved for each site and on the finalisation of the government’s affordable housing scheme.

Meanwhile, a study by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published on Tuesday revealed that Irish property prices have risen by more than any other advanced economy since the end of 2018 with Ireland the second most expensive market relative to incomes behind only Switzerland.

The study also showed that the ratio between prices and rents was the third highest behind the Netherlands and Denmark.

“Among the boom/bust/recovery countries, price/income ratios are above trend in Ireland, the Netherlands and Spain, but below in the United Kingdom and the United States,” the report read.

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