Around a thousand local authority mortgages are set be given out this year.

They're part of a new Government scheme giving low cost loans to first time buyers, even if they've been refused by a bank.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy will today announce details of the scheme along with new proposals for building more mid-price homes and ensuring long-term affordable rents.

The new Affordable Mortgage Scheme offers lower rates than most banks – and significantly, the interest will be fixed for the duration of the loan.

The Government loan can be used both for new and second-hand properties, or to build your own home.

But to qualify, an individual’s annual gross income cannot exceed €50,000, or in the case of a joint application €75,000.

There will also be a limit on the price of a home that can be bought from the scheme. In the Greater Dublin Area, Cork and Galway, the maximum market value is €320,000. In the rest of the country, it is €250,000.

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