Help-to-buy scheme extended to December 2021

Updated / Tuesday, 13 Oct 2020 14:46

12,750 new homes are to be added to the stock of social housing of which 9,500 will be built

The help-to-buy scheme for first time buyers, the lower of 10% of the value of the property or €30,000, has been extended to the end of 2021.

Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath signaled what he termed a "radical reappraisal on how we deliver housing." in his Budget 21021 speech.

Announcing a record level of funding for the Department of Housing - an increase of €773 million on last year - he said the Government will place a "much greater emphasis on building social and affordable housing."

As flagged earlier, he said his policy will deliver 9,500 social homes next year.

The Stamp Duty Residential Development Refund Scheme due to expire on 31 December 2021 will be extended to operations commenced by 31 December 2022.

Stamp Duty Residential Development Refund Scheme provides for refund of a portion of the Stamp Duty paid on the acquisition of non-residential land where that land is subsequently developed for residential purposes.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said that due to the impact on the sector of Covid-19, and also to certain issues that have been brought to his attention since its introduction, he is to make a number of changes to it this year.

Apart from the extension to the expiration date, the time allowed between commencement and completion of a qualifying project is being extended by six months to two-and-a-half years.

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The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform has said the delivery of affordable housing is a key objective for the Government.

Michael McGrath allocated €110m for affordable housing and cost rental schemes in Budget 2021.

Announcing the funding, the Minister said that thousands of people find themselves locked out of the property market due to high rents.

He announced a total of €5.2 billion to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage next year.

Mr McGrath said that an extra €500m would facilitate the construction of 9,500 new social housing units in 2021 and a total of 12,750 units will be added to the social housing stock.

He said there would be €65m to fund deep retrofitting of social housing stock.

Minister McGrath promised an additional €22m to support homelessness programmes and the introduction of a cold weather initiative.

He said a basic need in life is to have secure place to live and he said that for too many people in Ireland that need remains unfulfilled.

Tackling homelessness was a top priority for Government, he said.

Minister McGrath said that the country was able to deliver public housing when it was much poorer than it is today, and he said they would do this again.

He said the Land Development Agency would play an important role in the Government's affordable housing strategy into the future.

The Minister said that the agency would have over €1.2bn of funding to progress the range of projects already under way.