Scheme 'no advantage' for first-time buyers
SINGLE people applying to purchase 'affordable' homes in west Dublin will have to have a salary of at least €67,000 to qualify.
Despite the three-bedroom homes being offered for sale at a discount to the market price, applicants will have to earn twice the average industrial wage just to meet mortgage repayments.
The houses, which are for sale in a development called Phibblestown Wood in Ongar, are priced from €310,000 to €345,000. Located close to Blanchardstown shopping centre, most have large back gardens and are suitable for families.
Affordable homes are sold in new estates at a discount to the market price for people on lower incomes.
But the high income threshold required to purchase them shows the difficulty that many first-time buyers have when it comes to buying a home.
Yesterday, the Affordable Homes Partnership, a state agency charged with delivering affordable homes, confirmed that single people would need to earn about €67,000 to qualify.
"These are large three-bedroom family homes, and if a single person does want to apply they would have to earn about €67,000," a spokesperson said.
Independent TD for Kildare, Catherine Murphy, said yesterday she could not see how the houses were affordable, given that homes available from the private sector in commuter belts could be purchased for similar amounts without the discount.
"To be honest, I fail to see how these homes can be seen as affordable considering that private sector properties of similar floorspace and bedroom compliment can be bought for the same price or less in commuter areas," she said.
"The average industrial wage is about €32,000 meaning that even joint-applicants earning the average industrial wage could not afford these houses," she added.
Since 2005 when the Affordable Homes Partnership (AHP) was established, it has delivered 628 new homes across the country, most of which are in the Greater Dublin Area where prices are highest and first-time buyers face the greatest affordability problems.
The Government plans to deliver €18bn worth of housing over the course of the National Development Plan, and the AHP has recently purchased 500 new homes on the open market in Dublin, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow where apartments are likely to start at €200,000.