AIB Corporate Banking has partnered with Túath Housing Association to fund the acquisition of up to 190 social homes in every County and District in Ireland. In response to Rebuilding Ireland’s vacant homes initiative, Túath are purchasing homes from the State’s Housing Agency and letting them to families on Local Authority housing waiting lists. The properties are vacant former rental units in need of repair. As part of the initiative, Túath is refurbishing the properties, with the cost of the works being added to the cost of purchasing the property.
AIB is providing initial funding of €15m towards the cost of the purchase and a repair bill to facilitate an initial acquisition programme. The first tranche was used to complete the purchase and repair of 21 homes, with a range of houses and apartments in the local authority areas of Dublin City, South Dublin, Donegal, Westmeath, Galway County and City, Kildare and Wexford.
Chairman of Túath Séamus Doherty said; ‘’It is essential that more public and voluntary sector homes are provided for those shut out of the housing market. More could be spent, and spent more effectively by channelling housing expenditure, raised via private finance, through housing associations. At a time when we have historically low borrowing rates, the country should be borrowing and building much more than we currently are. The AIB loan facility is an excellent example of how this can be achieved, effectively and efficiently’’.
Eoghan O’Neill of AIB Corporate Banking said “AIB is committed to playing a meaningful role in delivering more social housing in the months and years ahead. We are very proud of our involvement in this collaboration with Túath. AIB has significant experience in financing the social housing sector and we are currently working with a number of other approved housing bodies on funding for social housing.”
As one of the actions included in the Government’s ‘Rebuilding Ireland Programme’, The Housing Agency was provided with a €70m fund, and the objective is to use this fund to acquire up to 1,600 vacant properties from financial institutions. It has already acquired a large number of houses and apartments, primarily from distressed sales. The proceeds from the sale of the properties to Túath and other Approved Housing Bodies will then be used again to acquire housing stock and commence the process once more.
John O’Connor of the Housing Agency said “We welcome today’s announcement by AIB. The Housing Agency have worked with a range of organisations to find ways of bringing vacant homes back into use. An organisation like AIB working with the housing bodies is a significant boost and shows what can be achieved by good collaboration.”