The bill is being put forward to Cabinet today.

MEMBERS OF THE Cabinet will today discuss the Affordable Housing Bill being brought forward by minister Darragh OBrien. 
Aspects of the bill, including its shared equity scheme for first-time buyers, have been criticised. The Housing Minister said the bill has affordability measures at its absolute core. 
OBrien said the bill has four major aspects: 

  • Scheme of direct State-built affordable homes
  • National cost-rental scheme
  • Shared equity scheme for first-time buyers
  • Extension to setting requirement for all new developments to have 10% social and 10% affordable housing

Speaking on RTÉ radios Morning Ireland, OBrien said that these are fundamentally supply measures. 
We need to see supply increase across the board, and how we do that is we cannot do that by just sitting back and doing nothing, or indeed doing the same that has been done over the last few years, OBrien said. 
We do need radical measures, we do need interventions to help those who are actually locked out of the housing market. But also to boost supply because this year, because of the shutdown as well, we could be as low as 12-14,000 housing completions. I hope well make up for lost ground, but we need to be delivering 33,000 homes per year.
He said the housing legislation will allow building affordable homes on State land to be more flexible and to deliver homes quicker. 
He said the first 50 homes in this cohort will be delivered in Cork soon. The government plans to build 6,000 affordable homes on State land in the next four years. 
OBrien defended the shared equity scheme, saying it is a targeted measure in the wider market. 
A shared equity scheme involves the State paying for up to 30% of the cost of new houses in return for a stake.
Under the scheme the State takes an equity loan share of up to 30% in your home while the owner takes out a mortgage with a bank on the remainder.
In February, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) said that a shared equity loan scheme will be a benefit in theory as it would facilitate borrowing for households currently constrained by the amount needed to finance a purchase.
Weve calibrated the scheme to ensure that its focused and targeted at those who need it, OBrien said. 
He said they looked at schemes in other jurisdictions and improved upon them. 
He said the bill also increases to 20% the allocation of social and affordable housing in new developments in every local authority area. 
That would allow much faster delivery, so any new estate that permission is given you will have 10% affordable and 10% social which is protected, he said. 
OBrien said 440 new cost-rental tenancies are expected this year. 
He said the bill includes the criteria for a national cost rental scheme. 
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This is for people who would be above the social housing limits, working people a minimum 25% below-market rent with secure long-term rents, OBrien said. 
He added that the governments housing for all plan will be published in July. This will include details for housing delivery planned over the next decade.
The Social Democrats housing spokesperson Cian OCallaghan criticised the bill as being more of the same, failed, developer-led policy-making during the Celtic Tiger.
The shared equity scheme will drive up house prices. It happened when the scheme was introduced in England and it will happen here, the TD said. 
He said housing needs an urgent change of direction. 
Solidarity TD Mick Barry has also criticised the bill, saying it will not deliver genuinely affordable housing for people on low or average incomes. 
He accused OBrien of being more attentive to the needs of developers than workers, saying there is a crying need for a genuinely affordable housing scheme.