A design image of the new Gort an Locha development in Moate. An affordable purchase scheme for 22 houses in the new estate attracted 145 applications in July and August.

Council receives over 140 applications for 22 affordable homes in Moate

The number of applications for an affordable housing scheme in Moate was more than six times the number of houses available, Westmeath County Council has confirmed.

In July, the local authority opened the application process for 22 new houses offered through an affordable purchase scheme at the new Gort an Locha development on Lake Road in Moate.

Applications for the scheme closed on August 16, and the council confirmed that a total of 145 applications had been received for the 22 homes.

The level of interest in the scheme underscores the high demand for reasonably-priced housing in the locality, with a similar affordable purchase scheme at Bower Hill, Athlone, yielding more than 90 applications for the 10 homes on offer last autumn.

A council spokesperson told the Westmeath Independent the applications for the Gort an Locha houses were being assessed and that offers would be made "incrementally" in accordance with its 'scheme of priority'.

The 'scheme of priority' is due to see 70% of the houses being allocated on a "first come, first served basis, based on date and time of application," while the remaining 30% will see priority being given to applicants living within the Athlone Moate Municipal District, or elsewhere within 10km of the Gort an Locha development.

As of Monday, August 21, offers had been issued to four applicants for the scheme, but the council declined to give a timeframe for when offers would be issued for the remaining houses.

"It is not possible to give an exact timeline as offers depend on a range of factors including eligibility of applicants, mortgage approvals, etc," said the spokesperson.

Separately, Westmeath TD Robert Troy announced that there would a social housing element added to the new Moate estate.

Deputy Troy said approval was granted recently for "a turnkey development of 13 new social homes" at Gort an Locha.

Fitzpatrick & Heavey Homes is the developer behind the Gort an Locha project, which it said would cater to families "looking for a modern A-rated home in a charming, picturesque community".

It said the new houses were "designed to be low-maintenance and energy-efficient, helping homeowners save money on utility bills while reducing their carbon footprint".

The homes in the estate that were offered under the affordable purchase scheme consisted of fifteen three-bedroom houses and seven four-bedroom houses.

The scheme was open to households with a maximum income of between €63,056 and €71,606, and the minimum purchase prices of the houses range from €229,500 to €261,000.

Affordable purchase schemes see the county council retain an equity share in each property, the value of which is considered to be "the difference between the open market value of the dwelling and the purchase price paid" by successful applicants.

In Athlone, an affordable purchase scheme at the new Dún an Rí development in Coosan is currently open for applications, with 21 homes being offered.

Applications opened on August 16 and will remain open until midnight on Wednesday next, September 6.

We asked the council for the number of applications received for the Coosan scheme to date, but it said it would not be in a position to disclose this number while the scheme was still open.