Monday 26 August 2019

€2.5m funding for 50 new affordable Mallow houses

Bill Browne

It emerged this week that funding of almost €2.5 million has been set aside for the construction of 50 new affordable houses in the St Joseph's Road area of Mallow.

The funding of €2,492,704 for the Mallow project was announced this week by housing Minister Eoghan Murphy under the second tranche of the Serviced Sites Fund. 

Under the scheme's latest round of funding, the Government has set aside €84 million to support the delivery of 1,770 affordable homes for purchase within 25 separate projects nationwide. 

Cork has fared well in the latest announcement, with a total of €11.3 million set aside for six projects that will see a total of 244 new affordable homes being build in Mallow, Midleton, Kinsale, Carrigaline and Clonakilty.  The ultimate aim of the fund, which has been established under the auspices of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, is to deliver a total of 6,200 new affordable homes by 2021 in an attempt to address the housing crisis. 

The Government has allocated a total of €310 million to the scheme, which will cover approximately 90 per cent of the total cost of the housing projects on public lands, with the balance being made up by the relevant local authorities.  Announcing the latest allocation under the fund, Minister Murphy conceded that housing, and in particular affordable housing was "one of the biggest problems facing our country".  "We've seen recently that house prices have been cooling down, even falling in some parts of the country as supply increases. But, for too many people, home ownership still remains out of reach.

Unless the government steps in to bridge the gap, young couples and workers may not be able to afford to buy their own home in our cities and large towns," said Minister Murphy. 

"That's why we are using local authority land to build more affordable homes for young workers and couple. The market will not fix our housing problems alone, the government must lead on providing more affordable homes." 

While the latest allocation has been has been welcomed by Cork East TD Kevin O'Keeffe (FF), he said the initiative needed to be expanded in order to take people off the housing market and ease pressure within the rental sector. 

"Fianna Fáil has pushed for this in our pre-budget 2019 submission, as there are many individuals and couples who seek to get on the housing market but cannot qualify due to income threshold limits on amounts borrowed and high property prices in areas across the country," he said.