Affordable Housing Act 2021

10.

Assessment of eligibility for affordable dwelling purchase arrangement

10. (1) Where an application is made to a housing authority under section 9 to purchase an affordable dwelling under an affordable dwelling purchase arrangement (referred to in this section as an “application”), the housing authority shall carry out an assessment of the applicant’s eligibility for the affordable dwelling purchase arrangement, in accordance with this section and any regulations made under this Part, by reference to the criteria set out in subsection (2).

(2) An applicant shall only be eligible for an affordable dwelling purchase arrangement if—

(a) the combined financial means of all of the persons making the application, determined in accordance with regulations made by the Minister under subsection (7), are within the parameters prescribed in such regulations,

(b) subject to subsections (3), (5) and (6), none of the persons making the application has previously purchased or built a dwelling in the State for his or her occupation,

(c) subject to subsection (6), none of the persons making the application owns, or is beneficially entitled to an estate or interest in, any dwelling in the State or elsewhere, and

(d) each of the persons making the application has a right to reside in the State, to be demonstrated in such manner as the Minister may prescribe.

(3) Where—

(a) any of the persons making an application previously purchased or built a dwelling in the State, for his or her occupation, together with a spouse, a civil partner or a person with whom he or she was in an intimate and committed relationship,

(b) the marriage, civil partnership or relationship concerned has ended, and

(c) the person is now applying to purchase a dwelling on his or her own or with a different person,

the previous purchase or building of the dwelling concerned shall not render the applicant ineligible for an affordable dwelling purchase arrangement.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (3) a marriage is deemed to have ended when it is the subject of a decree of judicial separation, divorce or nullity and a civil partnership is deemed to have ended when it is the subject of a decree of dissolution or nullity.

(5) Where any of the persons making an application previously purchased or built a dwelling in the State for his or her occupation but that person demonstrates, in such manner as the Minister may prescribe, that he or she has sold, or has been divested of, that dwelling as part of a personal insolvency or bankruptcy arrangement or proceedings or other legal process consequent upon insolvency, then the previous purchase or building of the dwelling concerned shall not render the applicant ineligible for an affordable dwelling purchase arrangement.

(6) Where any of the persons making an application previously owned, or was beneficially entitled to an estate or interest in, a dwelling in the State and such dwelling, because of its size, is not suited to the current accommodation needs of the applicant’s household (as determined having regard to such matters as the Minister may prescribe or specify in guidelines), such ownership or beneficial entitlement, shall not, whether or not the person owns, or is beneficially entitled to an estate or interest in, the dwelling concerned at the time at which the application is made but subject to the powers of the Minister under sections 11(2)(b) and 12(8)(b), render the applicant ineligible for an affordable dwelling purchase arrangement.

(7) The Minister may, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, make regulations prescribing the method to be used, and the matters to be taken into account, in order to determine the financial means of an applicant and the ability of an applicant to purchase a dwelling or class of dwellings.

(8) Regulations under subsection (7) may, in particular, prescribe—

(a) the manner in which the income of the applicant is to be determined by a housing authority,

(b) which assets, if any, of the applicant are to be taken into account by a housing authority,

(c) the procedures to be applied by a housing authority for the purposes of assessing an applicant’s eligibility by reference to income and other financial circumstances, including the income that shall be assessable for such purposes.

Annotations:

Editorial Notes:

E9

Power pursuant to section exercised (13.04.2022) by Affordable Housing Regulations 2022 (S.I. No. 183 of 2022).