The Governments new housing plan proposes that up to 50pc of future housing estates be reserved for first-time buyers, the Sunday Independent has learned.
Measures to be brought to Cabinet this week by Housing Minister Darragh OBrien could ultimately see up to 80pc of houses in many such developments ear marked for social and affordable housing, as well as for first-time buyers.
The plan also intends to tackle the controversial bulk sale of housing estates to in vestment trusts on what Government sources describe as a density basis.
In effect, so-called cuckoo funds will be prohibited from bulk-buying estates which contain less than 50 houses per hectare.
In applying a density measure, the intention is to allow investment trusts to continue to bulk- buy new apartment blocks, ultimately for rent, but not bulk-buy mostly suburban housing estates such as the Mullen Park estate in Maynooth, Co Kildare.
At present developments must provide for 10pc social housing and a further 10pc affordable housing. It is understood Mr OBrien is proposing to amend the Affordable Housing Bill to increase the share of affordable housing to 20pc.
However, in a new measure to be brought to Cabinet on Tuesday, the minister is understood to be proposing legislation to the effect that a further between 30pc to 50pc of future housing estates be available for first-time buyers only.
This proposed condition will apply to future local authority planning permissions, but not to developments already approved.
In effect, therefore, between 60pc and 80pc of future developments would be reserved for social housing, affordable housing and first-time buyers.
The Sunday Independent understands that these proposed new conditions will be attached to planning permission for new housing estates.
However, the conditions will not apply to all proposed new developments to allow for people who may want to trade up or buy a more expensive home.
In relation to the issue of bulk-buying, it is understood that this is to be tackled by way of a Department of Housing circular to local authorities, as opposed to new legislation.
The Government is under increasing pressure to resolve the housing issue, which Taoiseach Micheál Martin last week said was his number one priority and the biggest challenge facing the country.
Recent revelations that foreign investment funds we re buying up entire new estates provoked anger, particularly among first-time buyers.
Mr OBriens proposals expected this week are in addition to measures already announced in the Affordable Housing Bill, which includes a Serviced Sites Fund, a Shared Equity Scheme and a Help to Buy Scheme for first-time buyers.
Sunday Independent

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