A cap of €320,000 applies in Dublin, Cork and Galway

Around 1,000 local authority mortgages should be given out this year.

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

Those who earn up to €50,000 a year or less can borrow up to €320,000.

The new scheme offers lower rates than most banks, while the interest will also be fixed for the duration of the loan.

The loan can be used by people for new and used properties, or to build their own home.

In order to qualify, a person's annual gross income cannot exceed €50,000 - or €75,000 in the case of a joint application.

There will also be a limit on the price of a home that can be bought with the scheme.

In Dublin, Cork and Galway the maximum value is €320,000. While for the rest of the country, the limit is €250,000.

But Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy has admitted it isn't a complete solution to the housing crisis.

"This is an affordability measure - it's not a direct supply side measure nor is it a direct demand side measure.

"But it may have some impact on both sides of the ledger - but that impact will be limited because we are talking about a price cap on the homes, we're talking about essentially one percent of the mortgage market."

"We know the demand is already there".