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Affordable housing

The Affordable Purchase Scheme sees Clare County Council make new, local homes available for purchase by first time buyers and Fresh Start applicants at reduced prices, whose combined mortgage and deposit will not cover the market price of the newly built home.

In return, Clare County Council takes a percentage equity stake in the affordable home, equal to the discount of the purchase price from the full market value of the home.

Radharc Doire Shannon Affordable Housing Scheme portal now closed

Under the Local Authority Affordable Purchase Scheme, Clare County Council make homes available at a reduced rate for first time buyers and other eligible buyers who cannot afford to purchase a home at its open market values with a maximum mortgage and 10% deposit. In return, Clare County Council will take a percentage equity share in the house equal to the difference between the open market value of the home and the reduced price.

In order to be eligible to apply for Affordable Housing, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

  • Be classified as a first-time buyer and do not own or have legal interest in a dwelling.
  • Have the right to reside indefinitely in Ireland. Intending purchasers from a member state of the EU/European Economic Area can apply for an affordable home, provided they are living and working in Ireland.
  • The affordable home must be the household’s normal place of residence.
  • Where intending purchasers are not an Irish/EU/EEA citizen, they must have indefinite leave to remain in the State.

The purchasers will enter an affordable dwelling purchase arrangement with Clare County Council. Under this arrangement the Council will take a percentage equity share in the dwelling equal to the difference between the market value of the dwelling and the price paid by the purchaser, expressed as a percentage of the market value of the dwelling. The Council may not seek realisation of its affordable dwelling equity for a 40-year period (other than for breach of the agreement). However, the purchaser may choose to redeem or buy out the affordable dwelling equity at any time by means of one or a series of payments to the Council.

Affordable Housing Purchase Scheme checklist

Affordable Housing Purchase Scheme terms and conditions

Affordable Housing Purchase Scheme Frequently Asked Questions

Clare County Councils Scheme of Priorities

Expression of interest for provision of turnkey developments

Calling all Housing Developer and Building Contractors - Currently, Clare County Council is seeking expressions of interest for the provision of turnkey housing developments for the delivery of affordable housing. Please see link below.

Affordable Housing - Submit an expression of interest for provision of turnkey housing developments - housing developers and building contractors

How does the scheme work?

  • The scheme applies to new-build houses and apartments where the developer has agreed for the housing units to be included. 
  • The support provided by the local authority takes the form of an equity share on the home. 
  • To participate in the scheme, applicants will be required to maximise their mortgage drawdown capacity (4 times a household income, from a participating bank, according to the Central Bank’s macro-prudential rules). 
  • Applicants may be able to avail of the Local Authority Home Loan.
  • Applicants may be able to avail of the Help to Buy Scheme
  • The maximum financial support available on each home will be established by the local authority delivering the homes. 
  • The purchaser can redeem (buy-out) this equity share at a time of their choosing but there will be no requirement to do so.
  • If the purchaser chooses not to redeem the equity share while living in the home, the local authority can do so when the property is sold or transferred, or after the death of the owner.
  • The equity share required will not be less than 5% and not greater than 25% of the market value of the dwelling.

 Who is the scheme for? 

  • Households which, using their combined deposit and their approved maximum mortgage, cannot afford the home at its open market value.
  • The scheme is targeted at first-time buyers with the greatest affordability challenges. 
  • Provision is also made for:
    • Divorced or separated individuals who do not retain an interest in a home previously owned with their former spouse/Civil Partner
    • A limited category of second-time buyers (those who purchased previously but whose home is now demonstrably too small for their household needs).
    • Applicants who previously purchased a dwelling but who sold it or became divested of it as part of insolvency/bankruptcy proceedings.
    • Have a minimum deposit of 10% of the purchase price of the property.
    • Currently have a legal right to reside and work in the State and be able to demonstrate that they are habitually resident in Ireland.

For more infirmation on how incomes are assessed see Affordable Purchase Dwelling Arrangements Income Assessment Policy.

Required documentation

  • Evidence of ability to finance the purchase:

An in-date mortgage Approval in Principle (AIP) letter stating the maximum mortgage available to you. An AIP must be from a pillar bank. Pillar Banks are: Bank of Ireland, AIB or PTSB.

Online calculator tools are acceptable only until you receive your mortgage approval in Principle letter. We are unable to completely process applications without receipt of a mortgage approval in principle letter for the maximum mortgage.

  • Proof of citizenship: Current passport
  • Proof of right to reside in Ireland for all non-EU/EEA applicants: GNI Stamp 4
  • Photographic identification: Current Passport or current driving licence
  • Proof of income and PPSN/Tax Registration Number:

PAYE employees: Salary Certificate completed by your employer and Employment Detail Summary, (previously known as P60) which is available from the Revenue website
Self-Employed: Documents for previous 2 years: - Audited/Certified Accounts, Tax Balancing Statement and Tax Payment Receipt

If not employed or were unemployed in any of the last 2 years:
Statement of total benefits received from Social Welfare in each year. This may be requested via email from your local Social Welfare/Intreo office.

  • Proof of present address dated within the last 3 months.

Any one of the following documents: Current bank statement/credit union statement or utility bill (electricity, gas, internet mobile phone or telephone).

  • Evidence of savings/deposit

  • Evidence of first-time buyers’ status and eligibility for the Help to Buy scheme

Help to Buy completed application, confirming approval. This approval must include name(s) of applicant(s) with PPSN and maximum entitlement under the scheme. (Note that applicants are considered first-time-buyers only if BOTH are buying their home for the first time.)
If you have not already applied for Help to Buy, you should do so now at www.revenue.ie.

Purchase price

The affordable purchase price will be calculated by Clare County Council based on the “purchasing power” of eligible applicants. This calculation considers applicants maximum mortgage capacity and the minimum price set for the home by the Council. The Applicant’s purchasing power must not exceed 95% of the market value of the property. The purchasing power of applicants will be calculated as the combined total of:

  • Maximum mortgage capacity, i.e., 4 times gross household income, plus,
  • A minimum deposit of 10% of the affordable purchase price (which can include support from the Help to Buy scheme), plus,
  • Relevant savings, i.e., any savings in excess of the combined sum of the required deposit amount plus €30,000*.

*If you have savings above a certain amount, you may not qualify for the scheme. You can have the money to cover the deposit on the home and an additional €30,000. Anything above this is added to your purchasing power. If this purchasing power goes above 95% of the market value of the home, you are not eligible for the scheme.

It will also be a requirement to buy back the local authority’s equity share in your home after 40 years. But, you can buy it back before then and you can make repayments at any time. You can buy back the full equity share in one payment or pay it back partially as you can afford to. However, the minimum repayment is €10,000. 


Mortgage approval in principle

Clare County Council will make homes available at a reduced price for buyers who are seeking to purchase a newly built home but need to bridge the gap between their mortgage and deposit to cover the full price of the home. It is recommended that applicants have their Mortgage Approval in Principle prior to applying for Affordable Housing, or at least be in a position to apply for a mortgage.
Purchasers can use the Local Authority Home Loan or a mortgage from the below listed financial institutions who have entered into a ‘Priorities Agreement’, to finance their purchase. This agreement between the Council and the bank will not impact on the purchaser but will record that the Council will retain an equity share in the property and will provide that the bank’s interest will take priority.

Minimum and maximum purchase prices

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they can fund the purchase of an affordable home between the minimum and maximum purchase prices. If an applicant’s purchasing power is below the minimum purchase price, they are not ineligible for the scheme however they will need to confirm that they have additional funds such as a gift that will increase their purchasing power to the minimum purchase price.
Applicants with purchasing power assessed as over the maximum purchase price of the affordable units available will be ineligible for the scheme.

 When and how can I apply?

There will be an individual application process for each Affordable Purchase Scheme.

Please note: there is no general application form or waiting list.

When Affordable Homes are made available for purchase, they will be advertised in the following places:

  • Clare County Council’s website
  • Clare County Council’s social media pages and
  • In a local newspaper

The advertisement will include details about the scheme including the houses available for sale, types and locations of properties available, income limits and minimum / maximum sale price along with how and when to apply.

Applications will be accepted through an online application portal only. On the day the application portal opens, the applicant/s will first need to register on the portal and then can proceed to complete the online application form and submit the requested documentation.

Please be aware that applications will be prioritised on a first come first served basis.

A link to the application portal along with a list of the required documentation will be available through the link at the top of this page. The system will allow for input of all relevant data and applicants will be required to upload supporting documentation.

Important:

Ensure that you have gathered all the necessary supporting documentation in advance of the application date.
We prioritise eligible applications under the Council’s Scheme of Priority. The date and time of receipt of complete applications with all the required documentation is one of the criteria that we use to prioritise applications. 

More information on affordable housing

When a new scheme is being launched, all the relevant details will be available on this webpage. You can send any queries on Affordable Housing to: affordablehousing@clarecoco.ie.

Useful links:

Page last reviewed: 24/01/23

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Contact

Affordable housing
Housing and integration department
Clare County Council
Áras Contae an Chláir
New Road
Ennis
Co. Clare
V95 DXP2
(065) 6846468/ (065) 6846385
Opening hours
Monday - Friday: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and by appointment only from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
More details and map