Housing

Housing 2019-01-18T14:14:51+00:00

Project Description

HOUSING

  • Affordable Homes: For single people with gross earnings up to €50,000 and couples up to €75,000 gross, new options include:
    • An Affordable Loan confined to first time buyers, of up to 90% of a home (new and second hand) costing up to €320,000 provided you have been refused by two lenders. A fixed 2% mortgage over 25 years will cost you €4.70 per month (incl. Mortgage Protection) per €1,000 borrowed. The amount the Council will lend will be determined by how much you can afford to pay in repayments and still have enough to live on (Social Welfare generally set this at €300 for a couple).
      (See rebuildingirelandhomeloan.ie).
  • On selected sites there will be a reservation of at least 30% of homes for Affordable Purchase, with a discount on the site cost and an option of shared purchase with the Council (up to 40% ownership). There will also be Affordable tenancies at a discount from market rents. Application will be invited on a site by site basis and a target of 6,000 affordable homes over 3 years has been set.
  • A person buying a new home can also claim a Help to Buy refund of the income tax which they paid in the past 4 years up to a maximum of 5% of the value of the home. There is no means text on this scheme.

DEBT PROBLEMS

  • If you are having difficulty keeping up with payments it is vital that you immediately inform those whom you owe (utilities, banks, etc.) and seek advice.  Important services include:
    • Money Advice & Budgeting Service (MABS) can negotiate with creditors (076 1072000
    • Abhaile offers a dedicated adviser, free financial advice, free legal advice (Helpline 076 1072000).
    • Mortgage to Rent allows you to become a tenant of a Housing Association. The house value may be no more than 365,000.  You must qualify for Social Housing to be considered.
    • Insolvency Service of Ireland helps people who owe money and cannot afford to pay to reach debt settlements (contact: [email protected], 076 106 4200).

LEAD PIPE REPLACEMENT GRANT

  • A grant will be available from the Council for replacing lead water pipes for costs of up to €5,000, with an 80% grant for household income under €50,000, and 50% for household income between €50,000 and €75,000.

AFFORDABLE RENTAL

  • A new scheme is being developed whereby Councils will enter into up front financial agreements to rent homes in newly built estates where the home will be offered 30% below market rent to eligible applicants approved by the Council.

HOUSING ASSISTANCE PAYMENT (HAP)

  • Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is available to anyone who is eligible for Social Housing through the local authority.  If approved the Council will pay a portion of the rent to a landlord whom you source.  There is a ceiling on eligible rents. If a tenancy cannot be found within this ceiling, flexibility up to 20% may be provided on a case by case basis. Up to 50% higher rent ceiling applies if a family is homeless.  Increases are also possible if you are at risk of becoming homeless on the recommendation of Threshold (1800 454 454).
  • As a tenant you pay a rent contribution to the Council.
  • HAP / Homeless Placefinder Service will help homeless families find HAP tenancy, contact Galway City Council  901 536 400 / Galway County Council 091 509000 / Mayo County Council 094 902 4444  for more information)
  • If you go on HAP, you can apply to go on the Council’s Transfer List for Social Housing (and will retain your time on the list if you apply within 2 weeks).
  • It is illegal for a landlord to discriminate against you because you are on HAP.  Such discrimination can be challenged by making a complaint to the WRC (www.workplacerelations.ie / 1890 80 80 90).

HOUSING AID FOR PENSIONERS

  • Older people or those with incapacities can get grants for home improvements from the Council, subject to income limits, but your application may be prioritised based on medical need.
  • Housing Aid For Older People: Up to 95% grant in owner-occupied homes, for persons aged 66 or over, to cover the costs of up to €8,000 in necessary improvements – rewiring, central heating (where none), replacing boilers beyond repair. Annual income of all household members must be under €30,000 for the full grant, dropping on graduated basis to 30% for incomes €50,000 – €60,000, but no grant after that.
  • Mobility Aids: Up to 100% grant to cover the costs of up to €6,000 in works to address mobility problems, certified by a doctor (e.g. rails, ramps, stairlifts and level access shower) in owned or private rented homes where the annual income of all household members is under €30,000.
  • Housing Adaptation (Disability): Up to 95% grant to cover the costs of up to €30,000 in works to adapt a home to suit the needs of a person with an enduring disability (e.g. downstairs toilet/shower, wheelchair adaptation, extension, etc.) in owned or private rented homes. The works must be certified necessary by a doctor and may require an Occupational Therapist Report. Annual income of all household members must meet the same test as for Housing Aid for Older People.

WARMER HOMES

  • A Home Insulation Scheme for owners of homes built before 2006 is available to persons who are eligible for Fuel Allowance, and to persons on Jobseeker’s Allowance for over 6 months with children under 7, or on Working Family Payment, Single Parent Payment or Domiciliary Care Allowance, through Energy Action (01-454 5464) and Warmer Homes Scheme (1800 250 204) who will process your application over the phone. Energy Action will insulate attics, draught-proof doors and windows, insulate cavity wall and pipes, fit a lagging jacket and two energy saving light bulbs. In some cases replacement of single glazing windows or heating upgrades can be considered.
  • Better Energy Home Scheme (tel: 1850 927 000) provides grants to homeowners for homes built before 2006: insulation of attic (€400), cavity wall (€400), internal wall (€2,400 (detached), €2,200 (semi or end-of-terrace), €1,600 (apartment (any) or mid-terrace), external wall (€6,000 (detached), €4,500 (semi or end-of-terrace), €2,750 (apartment (any) or mid-terrace); heating control with boiler upgrade (€700); heating controls upgrade only (€600); solar heating (€1,200).  Along with the insulation works, you can get a grant of e 50 for the required Building Energy Rating (BER). Grants will typically cover 20-30% of the full cost. Energy savings of up to 50% can be achieved. For external insulation, you should first apply to your local authority for a Declaration of Exemption from the need for planning permission (cost €80).