Skip to content

RTÉ Prime Time Report about vacant or derelict properties in Waterford

Waterford City and County Council featured on RTÉ’s ‘Prime Time’ programme last night.

Cited as a council that has bucked the trend and eradicated a significant amount of dereliction in its centre, Paul Johnston, Senior Engineer with Waterford City and County puts it down to the council’s decision to focus on dereliction six years ago and the determination of its Vacant Homes Office.

After the council determined that 25% of housing list applicants wanted to live in Waterford city centre, it concluded that there were “quite a number” of vacant properties in the city, he said

Since 2017, the council has purchased 45 properties using CPOs, which have been refurbished and turned into social housing in the city, under the Buy & Renew scheme, and acquired 25 others by agreement.

Waterford council pioneered the Repair & Lease scheme before it was rolled out nationally.

 

Watch it here (from 27’ 57’’) https://www.rte.ie/player/series/prime-time/SI0000000825?epguid=IH000412969

Minister O’Brien launches expanded Local Authority Home Loan scheme

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien, TD has today [January 4th 2022] announced a newly expanded Local Authority Home Loan scheme.

Minister O’Brien, along with Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath, signed regulations giving effect to the new Local Authority Home Loan scheme from today, January 4th.

Commenting he said, “Supporting home ownership is a key objective for this Government. In Housing for All, our new Plan for housing in Ireland we committed to introducing a reformed Local Authority Home Loan scheme to further support access to homeownership for creditworthy homebuyers who otherwise find it difficult to access sufficient finance.

“The new regulations will make it easier for single people to avail of a State backed mortgage for a new, second-hand or self-build home. A ‘Fresh Start’ principle also applies which means that people who are divorced or separated and have no interest in the family home, or who have undergone insolvency proceedings, will be eligible to apply also.

“I am now raising the income ceiling for a single applicant by €15,000 to €65,000 in counties Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Louth, Meath and Wicklow.

“This comes on top of enhancements already made to the scheme. In September I lowered the interest rate for local authority lending by 0.25% and this lower interest rate will continue to apply to loans issued under the Local Authority Home Loan.

“Ultimately, this Government, through Housing for All, is working to put the dream of homeownership back in reach for people. Today’s announcement is another step in that direction,” he concluded.

ENDS

Housing Loans Update

Housing Loans Update

The Local Authority Home Loan Scheme will replace the Rebuilding Ireland Home Scheme from 4th January, 2022.

All applications submitted on or after 4th January 2022 must be on the new LAHL Application Form and will be assessed under the new Housing Loans Regulations 2021 and associated Local Authority Home Loan Credit Policy Guidelines 2021.

This change will have no adverse effect on applications already received by Waterford City & County Council.

The new Local Authority Home Loan Application Form will be available from 4th January, 2022 – please see www.localauthorityhomeloan.ie and will also be available from our Customer Service Departments in Waterford City and Dungarvan from that date.

Minister O’Brien approves 211 new housing posts for Local Authorities, 8 in Waterford

 Additional staffing resources for housing-related projects 

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD has approved more than 200 new posts for local authority housing delivery teams across the country which will assist Councils in delivering their social housing targets.

housing_for_all_waterford

Waterford City and County Council will introduce eight new housing posts to its housing delivery team to assist with meeting its targets under Housing for All. 

Housing for All, the Government’s new housing Plan, commits to strengthening the capacity of Local Authorities to initiate, design, plan, develop and manage housing projects. The Plan acknowledges that this requires the resourcing of housing delivery teams and the posts being announced today include a wide range of positions from engineers to quantity surveyors and architects with provision also made for the necessary administrative resources. 

Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “In September this year, the Government published our new housing strategy, ‘Housing for All’. It is the most comprehensive housing plan in the history of the State backed by an unprecedented €4bn per year. 

“Under ‘Housing for All’, we will deliver nearly 90,000 new-build social homes by 2030 and we have put a very clear focus on the delivery of new build projects.

“My Department has been working with the Housing Delivery Coordination Office (HDCO) and the County and City Management Association (CCMA) to identify capacity limitations and additional staffing resources required to deliver our objectives.

“With the approval of these new posts, we are ensuring that all local authorities have the capacity to deliver the scale of social housing delivery required,” he concluded.

Michael Walsh, Chief Executive, Waterford City and County Council added, “The department’s commitment to delivering social and affordable homes, not just in Waterford, but throughout the country, is underpinned by this announcement.  The availability of new personnel and resources will greatly assist Waterford’s housing delivery team meet its target under Housing for All.”

Request for Expressions of Interest for the provision of affordable housing through advance purchase turnkey acquisition

Request for Expressions of Interest for the provision of affordable housing through advance purchase turnkey acquisition.

Waterford City & County Council are seeking expressions of interest for the delivery of new dwellings for affordable housing in Waterford City accordance with the provisions of The Affordable Housing Act 2021.

Affordable housing units proposed must have planning permission and must not have commenced. The Affordable Housing Act 2021 provides for Local Authorities to acquire, build or cause to be built, affordable dwellings that can be subsequently sold to eligible applicants (assessed by Waterford City & County Council) through direct sales agreements between purchasers and developers.

The Affordable Housing Fund funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage will provide a subsidy (based on set criteria as outlined below) that will reduce the cost of a home for first time buyers or those seeking a fresh start. Waterford City & County Council will retain an equity stake of up to 30% of the dwelling.

All submissions made under this Expression of Interest will be assessed and approved by the Housing Agency and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
Please note that Waterford City & County Council are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2014.
Expressions of Interest Forms are available from the Housing Section, Waterford City & County Council, City Hall, The Mall, Waterford and below.

Expressions of Interest must be returned clearly marked WCCC 21/603/Housing to:
WCCC 21/603/Housing, Tender Box, Waterford City & County Council, Customer Services, Baileys New Street, Waterford.

The closing date for this Expression of Interest is 3pm on Tuesday 30th November 2021.

Funding Approval for Repair and Lease Scheme at St. Joseph’s House, Manor Hill, Waterford

Waterford City & County Council is delighted to announce funding approval by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage for the proposed Repair and Lease Scheme at St Joseph’s House, Manor Hill, Waterford City.

Walsh and Sheehan Manor Hill Investments Ltd and Waterford City & County Council have entered into an agreement to deliver 71 residential dwelling units within the existing vacant buildings on this iconic city centre site in Waterford City.

Over €4.2 Million has been approved to re-purpose the existing buildings (which are protected structures) to provide 50 apartment dwellings within the former convent building and 21 dwellings within the outbuilding clusters on the site.  It is proposed to provide the accommodation for elderly residents.

The funding is being provided under Housing for All – A New Housing Plan for Ireland.  It is an objective of Housing for All to address vacancy and provide for efficient use of existing stock.  Housing for All identifies the opportunity to re-imagine and transform our cities and towns, and to increase residential development in cities and town centres, with a consequent emphasis on amenities and quality of life.  The Plan acknowledges that addressing vacancy and dereliction has to form a key part of this response.

The Repair and Lease Scheme has been pioneered in Waterford and is a significant driver in providing high quality affordable housing solutions and at the same time has significantly addressed and delivered the return to use of vacant buildings in Waterford.

For further information on the Repair and Lease Scheme and help in returning properties to use, please contact Repairandleasing@waterfordcouncil.ie or VacantHomes@waterfordcouncil.ie or Waterford’s Vacant Homes Office on 0818 10 2348.
                                                                                                                                            -ENDS-

Attention approved Housing applicants : Social Housing Assessment 2021

ATTENTION : APPROVED HOUSING APPLICANTS

Waterford City & County Council has recently undertaken a Social Housing Assessment. If you are an approved housing applicant whose file was not reviewed since 30th July 2020 and you are not on RAS, HAP or leasing scheme, you have until Friday 5th November 2021 to return the form received for the Social Housing Assessment 2021. Applicants may be removed from the housing list should they fail to return the form they received.

Please return the form and supporting documentation by post to the Housing Applications Office, Baileys New Street, Waterford or by email to ssha2021@waterfordcouncil.ie, instead of attending in person at the Customer Services Desk.

Important Update regarding Long Term Leasing Scheme with Local Authorities

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage recently published Housing for All – a New Housing Plan for Ireland.

With the focus of the Plan firmly on new-build delivery, Housing for All aims to phase out the current long term leasing models to new entrants over the period of the Plan. Local Authorities have been informed that the delegated authority under which they could enter into lease agreements will cease from the end of 2021.

Waterford City & County Council continue to seek expressions of interest from property owners, however the Council can only commit to lease agreements that can be executed by the end of 2021. This does not affect existing lease agreements already entered into.

Our priority demand is for 1, 2 and 3-bed units (apartments and houses), in that order, in the larger settlements in Waterford.

Please direct all enquiries to Leasing@waterfordcouncil.ie.

Please note that the Repair and Lease Scheme for the return to use of vacant properties remains available under Housing for All.

Housing Minister visits Waterford City

Today, Friday September 10th, Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Peter Burke TD visited Waterford.

Following a meeting with the Mayor of Waterford City and County Cllr. Joe Kelly and Chief Executive Waterford City and County Council Michael Walsh, Minister Burke visited a number of social housing projects in the city.

St. Joseph’s House is a former religious convent on a landmark site on Manor Hill.  Through the Repair and Lease Scheme, funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, 71 dwellings for the elderly will be delivered. Of the 71 dwellings, 50 units are located within the main building and 21 located in the various out-building clusters on the site, while the former chapel on the site will be proposed as community space for multiple uses by tenants.

The Minister then visited the Slievekeale site, where work is nearing completion on the delivery of 58 social housing units.  The first phase of dwellings has already been completed and is now providing new homes in a unique city-centre setting for 24 households.

Claire O’Sullivan, Manager of Tinteán Housing Association gave the Minister a tour of the new proposed units at O’Connell Street, which will provide 12 apartments units with staff support on site.

In 2019, Waterford City and County Council ceased the use of B&Bs and hotels by working in collaboration with Tinteán Housing Association and Focus Ireland to provide units from its own housing stock as an alternative for homeless households.

According to Ms. O’Sullivan, “Over the past 22 years the Service has evolved due to emerging needs, and is now providing a transitional service with 24 hours on-site support for women with complex needs as well as long-term housing with support for men, women and families off site.  We also provide short-term emergency accommodation for families experiencing homelessness which is a successful Waterford Council initiative as an alternative to using B&Bs and hotels for homeless families.”

“Up until now we were housed at Virginia Crescent, Hennessy’s Road and as it was always our aim to move away from residential setting to providing own front door units in line with housing first/housing led principles.”

Prior to a walk through Waterford’s Cultural and Viking Triangles, the Minister met with Council officials where he was presented with Waterford City Centre Design Strategy, Waterford’s City Centre regeneration project which was granted under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF).  The allocation has allowed Waterford City and County Council to bring significant investment into the centre of Ireland’s Oldest City and create opportunities for people to live, work and play in a variety of re-imagined public spaces and places.

Minister Burke said, “I am immensely impressed to see the work underway in Waterford to tackle our housing crisis and make full use of resources allocated by the Department.  The Repair and Lease scheme in particular is providing high quality homes in prime location for our older people and I hope this use can be mirrored elsewhere in the country.  I also welcome the great progress made on homelessness with the international best practice Housing First strategy being employed successfully by Waterford City and County Council.”

“I thank the officials and members of the Local Authority for their warm welcome to Waterford and their presentation on the regeneration project.  I look forward to these exciting plans coming to fruition and to visiting again when works are complete.”

-ENDS-

Kilmacthomas housing project progressing well

A new social housing development in Kilmacthomas, Co. Waterford is progressing well, with works expecting to be completed early next year.

Funded by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage under the Rebuilding Ireland programme, the project consists of 16 new social housing units and will be known as Port na Machan.

Anton Lennon, Executive Engineer with Waterford City and County Council said, “Works on the development have been progressing well and we are looking at completion early in January 2022.  This will provide accommodation for 16 household in a unique setting in Kilmacthomas village.”

John Somers Construction is the main contractor and the design team led by CJ Falconer & Associates.

Minister O’Brien welcomes Cabinet approval for the publication of Affordable Housing Bill 2021

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has welcomed Cabinet approval for the publication of the Affordable Housing Bill 2021.

The Bill will be the first comprehensive standalone legislation dedicated to the provision of affordable housing in history of the State. Key elements of the Bill include:

  • The first scheme of direct state built affordable homes in over a decade
  • The first ever national scheme to provide for the delivery of Cost Rental housing
  • A new Affordable Purchase Shared Equity scheme for homes in private developments
  • Provision for the extension of Part V to a set 20% in every Local Authority area with a 10% minimum requirement for social homes and a further 10% requirement for affordable homes where required

Commenting Minister O’Brien said, “This Bill is delivering on the Programme for Government commitment to put affordability at the heart of the housing system and to prioritise the increased supply of affordable homes.

“For the first time in over a decade we will be empowering local authorities to deliver affordable homes for purchase on their own lands, meaning that middle income earners can be supported to own their own home.

“The Bill will also provide a statutory legislative basis for our first ever national Cost Rental scheme, whereby tenants pay rent that covers the costs of delivering, managing, and maintaining the homes only – the first homes will be delivered this year at a minimum of 25% below market value. The development of a Cost Rental sector will achieve what has been a long standing public policy goal and will deliver on the recommendations made in National Economic and Social Council (NESC) reports.

The new Affordable Purchase Shared Equity scheme will involve the State supporting hard pressed first time buyers to purchase homes in private developments. This will take the form of an equity stake of up to 20% in new build homes. Eligible homes will be subject to regional price caps. The scheme will ensure that people paying high rents can instead use their hard earned income to pay down a mortgage and own their own home much sooner. Controls will be in place to prevent any inflationary effect.

“Finally, the Bill provides for an extension of Part V to a set 20% in every Local Authority area, with a 10% minimum requirement for social homes and up to a further 10% requirement for affordable homes where required, or where not so required, the additional percentage may be used towards social housing,” he concluded.

Infographics

ENDS

Residential centre for brain injury survivors opens in Waterford

Check out this article on RTE’s website by Conor Kane.

The development was designed by Dungarvan-based architect Michael Regan of E-Project Chartered Architects and developed by ABII in partnership with the Anvers Housing Association, with funding from Waterford City and County Council and the Department of Housing and Local Government.

National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability

The National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (2011-2016 (extended to 2020)) will come to an end this year. A new national strategy is now being developed. The strategy is about facilitating the provision of housing options and related services to disabled people to allow individual choice and support independent living. 

The Housing Agency has started online consultation – click here to have your say on the new strategy. The survey will be live until the 16th of April.