Affordable housing of ‘exceptional value’ not selling, says council

COUNCIL officials in Cork are concerned that the public isn’t aware of the exceptional value that their affordable housing schemes represent.

Under the scheme, the price of houses is far lower than what would be expected on the open market. Yet, according to a Cork County Council spokesman they are having some difficulty in selling off the homes.

“There have been just 31 applicants for a 76-house scheme in Fermoy, despite the fact that we initially received over 100 inquiries,” the spokesman said.

The uptake of similar scheme in Youghal has been also been slow, but in other areas they have been very successful. Houses which go for around 140,000 are in real terms can be worth in excess of 200,000 to the purchaser.

Under the Government backed affordable housing initiative, new homes are provided by Cork County Council on land owned by the local authority at a discounted price to eligible purchasers.

Some recent schemes developed by the council in the Cork South Rural Area include 44 units at Carrigtwohill; eight houses at Cappagh, Kinsale; four two-bed units at River Street, Cloyne and 12 homes at Castlemartyr.

Applications are being accepted for 20 three bed semi-detached houses at Seafield in Youghal and next year there will be further schemes at Commogue, Kinsale; Castleredmond, Midleton; Knockbrogan, Bandon and Oatencake, Macroom.

Cork County Council has built 20 houses under the Government-backed initiative at Seafield, Youghal and these houses are now being offered for sale under the affordable housing scheme.

The houses are located on an attractive site near the main Cork-Waterford road and within easy walking distance of the beach. Each has three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen/dining area and all are semi-detached.

The council recently purchased 10 houses from a developer at Classes Lake, Ovens, and sold them to approved applicants. A total of 34 houses were purchased from another developer at Belmont Avenue, Rochestown. The first 20 have been disposed of.

The remaining 14 have only recently been handed over and 13 are being transferred to applicants. The average sale price was 146,000.

Nine houses have been built by the council at Chapel Gate, Ballincollig, and a further 16 were built by the council at nearby Mill Range.

Meanwhile, 28 houses are being built by the local authority at Maulbaun, Passage West. Forty houses are also under construction at Kilmoney, Carrigaline and should be finished by next August. A similar number are planned to be built at Castletreasure, Douglas.

In west Cork planning permission is being applied for seven affordable houses at Castletownbere. No other developments are planned for the region.

In north Cork 20 houses are near completion in Kanturk of which 12 have already been snapped up.

Another 76 houses are under construction in Fermoy. Plans are being made to construct 30 affordable houses in Mitchelstown, 40 in Mallow and 10 in Millstreet and Dromahane.

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