A three-bed home in Cork city's new affordable housing scheme will cost €223,000 to buy.
Two-bed homes will also be listed for sale at €198,000 in the project, which will be constructed over the next 30 months on a 13-acre site on the Boherboy Road in Mayfield on the northside of Cork city.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar travelled to Cork to turn the sod on what is the country's first affordable purchase housing scheme. However, there has been criticism of the pricing of the properties which, some say, remain out of reach of many earners.
The site at Boherboy Road, Lotamore, Mayfield will see 116 new energy-efficient affordable homes available to buy. They’ll be made up of 24 two-bedroom homes and 92 three-bedroom units, as well as a creche.
In addition, a portion of the site is being made available for 37 apartments which will be used for social housing.
This is the first affordable housing purchase project in the State to be funded under the Serviced Sites Fund.
This scheme will receive €4.96m under the fund, which is operated by the Department of Housing, Planning & Local Government. This grant will fund the servicing of the site and infrastructural upgrades to the nearby road network and local drainage services which in turn will assist the affordability and viability of the homes.
Speaking at the sod-turning of the €40 million project, the Taoiseach said: "It’s a really good example here in Cork of how housing is really taking off after years of undersupply.
The affordable homes on site are due to cost €198,000 for a two-bedroom, and €223,000 for a three-bedroom. Based on an application to the Rebuilding Ireland Homeloan with a joint income of €75,000, people would pay back €785 or €865 per month on their mortgage.
By the end of the next year, the government anticipates that 2,000 new affordable homes will be available nationwide in developments which have been subsidised by the Serviced Sites Fund.
In addition to the Boherboy Road scheme in Cork, funding approval is in place for a series of other schemes. These include 45 houses in Abbeywood, Midleton; 50 in Cammog, Kinsale; 17 in Beechgrove, Clonakilty; 50 on St Joseph's Road, Mallow, 38 in Kilnagleary, Carrigaline; and 44 in Broomfield, Midleton. There have also been 20 affordable units approved in Glanmire and 21 on Kilmore Road in Churchfield.
Sinn Féin councillor Thomas Gould, who is running in Cork North-Central in the upcoming by-election, has criticised the government's strategy on affordable housing. He said that the impetus for this scheme came from Cork City Council and that the government has taken an "ad hoc" approach in delivering affordable housing.
"As a party, we support affordable housing," he said.
"But we need concrete figures in terms of the number of houses proposed under this scheme and what they will cost so at the moment, the strategy is in disarray."