Allocation of affordable housing.
98.—(1) Affordable housing may be sold or leased only to eligible persons who qualify in accordance with a scheme established by a planning authority under subsection (2).
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), each planning authority shall establish a scheme which determines the order of priority to be accorded to eligible persons.
(3) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), when establishing a scheme referred to in that subsection, the planning authority shall have regard to the following:
(a) the accommodation needs of eligible persons, in particular eligible persons who have not previously purchased or built a house for their occupation or for any other purpose;
(b) the current housing circumstances of eligible persons;
(c) the incomes or other financial circumstances of eligible persons (and priority may be accorded to eligible persons whose income level is lower than that of other eligible persons);
(d) the period for which eligible persons have resided in the area of the development plan;
(e) whether eligible persons own houses or lands in the area of the development plan or elsewhere;
(f) distance of affordable housing from places of employment of eligible persons;
(g) such other matters as the planning authority considers appropriate or as may be prescribed for the purposes of this section.
(4) A planning authority—
(a) shall, when making or reviewing a development plan under Part II, and
(b) may, at any other time,
review a scheme made under this section and, as it sees fit, make amendments to the scheme or make a new scheme.
(5) The making of a scheme under this section and the making of an amendment to any such scheme shall be reserved functions.
(6) For the purposes of allocation under this section, a planning authority may, from time to time, set aside such specified number or proportion of affordable houses, for such eligible persons or classes of eligible persons, as it considers appropriate.