1. What is the Affordable Housing Scheme?
Under the ‘Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme’, Cork County Council is making new homes available for purchase by eligible applicants at reduced prices. In return, Cork County Council will take a percentage equity stake in the Affordable Purchase home. The Council’s equity stake will be equal to the discount of the purchase price from the full market value of the home. For example, if an eligible applicant purchases a home at a 20% discount, Cork County Council will take a 20% equity interest in the home.
2. How does the scheme work?
The main points of the scheme are as follows:
- The scheme is for first time buyers (along with some exceptions) who cannot afford to purchase a home at its market value.
- The scheme applies to new-build local authority houses and apartments.
- To participate in the scheme, applicants will be required to maximise their mortgage drawdown capacity (4 times a household income, from a participating bank).
- The maximum financial support available on each home will be established by Cork County Council.
- All purchasers will sign up to an ‘Affordable Dwelling Purchase Arrangement’ with Cork County Council. Under this arrangement the Council will take a percentage equity share in the dwelling, equal to the difference between the market value of the dwelling and the price paid by the purchaser, expressed as a percentage of the market value of the dwelling.
- The equity share required will not be less than 5% of the market value of the dwelling.
- The purchaser can buy out this equity share at a time of their choosing but there will be no requirement to do so.
- The Council may not seek realisation of its affordable dwelling equity for a 40-year period (other than for breach of the agreement). However, the purchaser may choose to redeem or buy out the affordable dwelling equity at any time by means of one or a series of payments to the Council.
- If the purchaser chooses not to redeem the equity share while living in the home, the local authority can do so when the property is sold or transferred, or after the death of the owner.
3. Where can I buy an Affordable Home?
A total of 32 affordable homes, consisting of 14 No. 2-bed terrace, 18 No. 3-bed terrace houses at The Waters Edge, Church Road, Carrigaline are being made available for sale by Cork County Council, as constructed by CitiDwell Developments Ltd under affordable dwelling purchase arrangements under the Affordable Housing Act 2021 and associated Regulations.
Applications for other affordable housing developments in other parts of the county will be advertised and launched at a later date.
4. When will the properties be available?
Applications for the development at The Waters Edge, Church Road, Carrigaline will be accepted via an online application portal which will go live on 28th August 2023 at 12 noon.
Applications may be made between 12 noon on 28th August 2023 and 12 noon on 18th September 2023.
Applications for other affordable housing developments in other parts of the county will be advertised and launched at a later date.
5. Am I eligible for this scheme?
In order to be eligible to apply for Affordable Housing at The Waters Edge, Church Road, Carrigaline applicants must satisfy the following criteria;
- Each applicant must be a First-Time Buyer or meet the exceptions under the Fresh Start Principle or own a dwelling which, because of its size, is not suited to the current accommodation needs of the applicant’s household.
- To apply for a 2-bedroom property, gross household income for the preceding 12 months should be below €73,264 however, those with a higher income may also be eligible if their lender provides them with a maximum mortgage which is less than 85.5% of the market value of the dwelling.
- To apply for a 3-bedroom terrace property, gross household income for the preceding 12 months should be below €78,020 however, those with a higher income may also be eligible if their lender provides them with a maximum mortgage which is less than 85.5% of the market value of the dwelling.
- Each person included in the application must have the right to reside indefinitely in the State.
- The affordable home must be the household’s normal place of residence.
- Applicants’ purchasing power must not exceed 95% of the market value of the property.
6. How do I prove that I am a First Time Buyer?
This can be done on Tab 5 of the online portal application by self-declaration, and/or Revenue Help to Buy approval, obtained from the Revenue Commissioners is alternative documentary proof.
7. Are there exceptions to the First Time Buyer requirement?
The Fresh Start principle applies for applications to State affordable housing and loan schemes. This means that the following categories of persons are eligible to apply for the Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme:
- Applicant(s) that previously purchased or built a residential property but is divorced/separated or otherwise and has left the property and divested themselves of their interest in the property are eligible. Where a couple was in a relationship but not married, and the relationship has ended, the Fresh Start Principle can apply.
- Applicant(s) that previously purchased a residential property but has been divested of this through insolvency or bankruptcy proceedings, are eligible to apply. However, a separate assessment of creditworthiness will be conducted by the underwriters.
A further exception may apply in the case of an applicant who own a dwelling which, because of its size, is not suited to the current accommodation needs of the applicant’s household.
8. How do I apply for the scheme?
The application process will be via an online platform. The link to this platform is available at Affordable Housing Application (Please note that the link for online applications will open on this webpage, at 12 noon on the 28th of August and close at 12 noon on the 18th of September 2023.) and will be available and live from the 28th August 2023 at 12 noon. The system will allow for input of all relevant data and uploading of all supporting documentation.
Step 1: REGISTERING: Register with the online platform. You will need the following information:
- Your Full Name, a valid & active email address & a Mobile Phone Number. You will generate a registration verification number via text message, which you will enter to complete the set- up process.
Step 2: LOG ON:
- You will then be able to log on to the online platform to begin your application process.
- Again, as part of this login, you will generate a verification number via text message to your mobile device. You will then need to enter this six-digit code to log in.
Step 3: THE APPLICATION: You will be presented with 5 tabs, each of which will need to be completed.
Tab 1: Application
This tab will contain the general scheme information, such as: scheme name, single or joint application, number of household members to reside in the house, type of property you are seeking, etc.
Tab 2: Applicant A
This tab will contain the specifics of the principal applicant: name, date of birth, PPS number, marital status, nationality, contact telephone numbers and email, current address, county, eircode, employment details, previous year’s gross income details, option to add details of other dependent household members (name, date of birth, age).
You will also be required on this tab to upload documents in relation to the following: proof of income e.g. salary cert/P60, proof of citizenship, proof of right to reside in Ireland, proof of buyer status i.e. Help To Buy, and proof of address.
Tab 3: Applicant B
This tab should be used where there is a secondary or joint applicant. The same details as above will be required.
Tab 4: Finance
All applicants will be required to provide evidence of ability to finance the purchase of their selected property, i.e. mortgage approval in principle letter and proof of savings i.e. statements for all bank & credit union accounts.
Tab 5: Declarations
You will need to agree to a number of declarations in relation to your application e.g. the information you submitted is true and accurate, etc.
9. What documentation is needed to support my application?
In the online application process, applicants will have to submit a fully completed application form with all declarations completed and submit the following:
- Evidence of ability to finance the purchase: e.g. Provisional loan approval letter or online calculator showing ability to potentially borrow purchase amount
- Consent form and declaration signed and dated by both applicants
- Proof of income: PAYE employees: Salary Certificate, Employment Detail Summary, and payslips (3 if paid monthly, 6 if paid fortnightly and 12 if paid weekly). Self-Employed: Documents for previous 2 years: – Audited/Certified Accounts, Tax Balancing Statement and Tax Payment Receipt
- Proof of Citizenship: Passport or Birth Certificate
- Proof of Right to Reside in Ireland: minimum GNI Stamp 4 (for all applicants)
- Photographic Identification – Any one of the following documents: -Current Valid Passport, Driving Licence, National Age Card issued by An Garda Siochana, an identification form with a photograph signed and stamped by a member of An Garda Siochana
- Proof of Present Address dated within the last 3 months. Any one of the following documents: Current utility bill (gas, electricity, telephone, mobile phone, or internet bill), bank statement/credit union statement, document issued by government department that shows your address, Statement of Liability P21 from Revenue
- Proof of PPSN/Tax Registration Number – Any one of the following documents: – Statement of Liability P21, Tax Assessment, Notice of Credits from Revenue, Letter from Revenue Commissioners addressed to you showing PPSN, employee details from Revenue, Receipt for social welfare payment, Letter from Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection addressed to you showing your PPSN, Medical Card, Drug Payment Scheme Card, Payslip, P45
- Evidence of savings/deposit
- Evidence of first-time buyers’ status
- Confirmation of eligibility for Help to Buy Scheme (print out from Revenue portal (myAccount (PAYE applicants) ROS (Self-assessed applicants) confirming names of applicant(s) and maximum entitlement under the scheme.) (Note that applicants are considered first-time-buyers only if BOTH are buying their home for the first time)
10. What types of properties are available?
The types of properties available in The Waters Edge, Church Road, Carrigaline development are 14 No. 2-bed terrace, 18 No. 3-bed terrace houses.
11. What is the minimum purchase price of each type of property?
The minimum purchase price of the 2-bed terrace house is from €241,000 and the minimum purchase price of the 3-bed terrace house is from €262,500.
12. What is meant by market value?
The market value of a property is the price for which the property would be expected to achieve on the open market.
13. What is meant by affordable purchase price?
The affordable purchase price for a property is the price that the applicant will pay for the property after the discount has been applied to the market value. This price is based on an applicant’s income and purchasing capacity.
Click the link to view ‘The Waters Edge’ Affordable Housing Pricing Schedule.
14. How is the affordable purchase price calculated?
Example – Property with a Market Value of €365,000
The below example shows varying incomes and how they determine the affordable purchase price and the Council’s equity share of a property with a market value of €365,000. This example is based on the sale price for a 3-bed end of terrace house in The Waters Edge, Church Road, Carrigaline.
|Gross household income||Mortgage (income x 4)||Deposit (Minimum 10% of Purchase Price)||Purchasing Power, (Mortgage + Deposit)||CCC Contribution||Equity Share||Total Cost|
The higher an applicant’s purchasing power is, the more they will contribute to the price and the less equity the Council will take.
15. How do I know which property to apply for?
There are 14 No. 2-bed terrace, 18 No. 3-bed terrace houses. It is recommended that two or more person households apply for the 3-bedroom dwellings – on the basis that under the Scheme of Priority for Affordable Dwelling Purchase Arrangements, as adopted by Cork County Council, where the number of eligible applicants exceeds the number of affordable dwellings for which applications are made, applications will be prioritised in accordance with Cork County Council’s Scheme of Priority, to include that for 3-bedroom dwellings, priority shall be given to two- or more-person households.
16. How is my purchasing capacity calculated?
The purchasing capacity of applicants will be calculated as the combined total of:
- Maximum mortgage capacity, i.e., 4 times gross household income
- A minimum deposit of 10% of the affordable purchase price
- In limited circumstances, any relevant savings, i.e., any savings in excess of the combined sum of the required deposit amount plus €30,000 may be taken into account
Applicants may also avail of Help To Buy funds from Revenue. Please note that Help to Buy will only be released by Revenue if you have mortgage approval for a minimum of 70% of the Market Value of the house.
17. How much deposit do I need?
Financial institutions require that a minimum 10% deposit of the purchase price must be raised from applicants’ own resources. Example: For a property with a purchase price of €275,000 you will need a deposit of at least €27,500. The Help to Buy (HTB) Scheme operated by The Revenue Commissioners can be utilised towards this deposit amount where the applicant does not have savings to account for same.
Please note that Help to Buy will only be released by Revenue if you have mortgage approval for a minimum of 70% of the Market Value of the house.
18. How is a decision made on my application?
The decision on your application is made by Cork County Council in accordance with the eligibility criteria set out in Question 5 of this document and a Scheme of Priority adopted by Cork County Council on 25th July, 2022.
19. What is the Scheme of Priority?
A Scheme of Priority was approved by the Elected Members of Cork County Council on 25th July 2022. The Scheme of Priority outlines a methodology to be applied to determine the order of priority accorded to eligible households where the demand for such arrangements exceeds the dwellings or resources available. The main points are as follows:
- The Property must be suited to the applicant household’s need. In relation to 100% of the dwellings, date and time of application will be one of the criteria on which eligible applications will be prioritised under the Council’s Scheme of Priority.
- In relation to 30% of the dwellings, priority will be given to eligible applicants making the application who are currently resident in the Carrigaline Municipal District area of Cork County Council or are within 10km of this Scheme.
20. If I am approved for the scheme, where can I apply for a loan?
Finance can be secured from any private lending institution such as a Bank or Building Society. Alternatively, finance can be sourced via Cork County Council by way of a Local Authority Home Loan.
Applications for Local Authority Home Loans should be made to Housing Directorate Loans Section, Floor 4, County Hall, Cork.
21. How do I provide evidence of the ability to fund the purchase?
An Approval in Principle letter from a private financial institution or a Local Authority Home Loan approval from the Cork County Council Housing Section, Housing Directorate should be provided. Alternatively, an online calculator showing ability to potentially borrow the purchase amount can be provided. An example of an online calculator can be found at the following link: Home Loan Calculator.
Please note that you will still need an Approval in Principle letter to proceed as a valid application for the scheme.
I have another question.
Please go to www.corkcoco.ie to find further information.