Rising homelessness, skyrocketing rents, the struggle to save for a deposit, denial of full
mortgage approval, no houses available… it seems that there is only ever bad news about
the Irish housing situation. But at last there’s real help for people who have aspired to get a
foot on the property ladder in the form of a €400m affordability initiative provided jointly by
the Government and mortgage lenders.
From 7 July, the Government of Ireland’s Housing for All housing policy now offers its ‘First
Home’ Shared Equity Scheme to open up the housing market to first-time buyers, giving
support through different financial options to get them started. Not just couples but
individuals too can apply for the scheme, and while a 10% minimum deposit is required, this
may include contribution from the Help to Buy scheme.
Very simply, the scheme bridges the gap between the maximum mortgage offered to you
and the agreed price of the property you want to buy. In return, the scheme takes an equity
stake in the purchased home.
If, for example, the cost of building your new home is €320,000, and you have a 10% deposit
and a household income of €70,000 but your approved mortgage amount falls short at
€245,000, the Shared Equity Scheme will bridge the €43,000 gap. All you need to do is apply
for the ‘First Home’ Shared Equity Scheme when you apply for a mortgage.
For full details on this and to learn all the ways the Government is planning to solve the
housing crisis (from helping people out of homelessness and supporting low-income families
to amending the ‘Fair Deal’ scheme), go to www.gov.ie/housingforall.