I joined my colleague, Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien, at the Ploughing Championships yesterday for an important announcement on the 'First Home' scheme, which - from today - will be extended to self builders who are building their first homes. If that's you, click here and go to 'Self Build' to find out what supports you might be eligible to.
So what is First Home?
The First Home Scheme is a €400m fund that was set up by Government to help First-Time Buyers to bridge the gap between their mortgage, deposit and the price of a new home as part of the Government’s Housing for All strategy. The Scheme was already open to people buying newly-built houses and apartments in private developments, and to renters whose landlords were seeking to sell the property they are renting.
Today’s extension will mean that self-build customers can benefit from financial support of up to 30% of the total build cost of their home, to add to their self-build mortgage and deposit. It's a welcome development that those who are building their own home are now in a position to benefit from this scheme, and it will be especially beneficial for people who live in more rural locations, or come from farming backgrounds, and who may have a site but still not have access to the full level of finance they need to build their new home.
First Home is a scheme that was designed to be flexible, and to evolve as needed to help as many people as possible. For example, it has previously been extended it to help renters looking to buy their home from their landlord. Nnow it’s the turn of self-builders. In the scheme’s first year since its launch in July 2022, close to 2,000 buyers in 24 counties were approved for the Scheme and almost 500 homes in 20 counties were bought using the Scheme. The Scheme’s next quarterly progress update, for the 3 months to the end of September, will be published in the coming weeks.As the figures show, First Home has already been very successful for people buying new houses and apartments in developments, and now it’s going to help a new range of people starting out on their home ownership journey.