Skip to main content

Approved Housing Bodies Exceeding Rebuilding Ireland 2021 Delivery Targets Despite Covid Challenges

42% of Social Housing Delivered by Housing Associations in 2020

-Housing Association Sector Launches its 2020 Social Housing Completions Report –

Thursday 17th June 2021

Today, the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) will launch the Housing Association Activity Report 2020. Ireland’s housing association sector provided 3,312 social homes in 2020, 42% of the national total. 75% were new build social homes provided by ICSH members to households on the social housing waiting list, 14% were acquisitions and 11% were leased homes.

Dr. Donal McManus, ICSH Chief Executive stated:“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone involved in housing delivery. We are immensely proud of the work of our member organisations’ staff who, despite the numerous obstacle that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented, have insured that more keys to lifetime homes were handed over to AHB tenants in 2020 than in 2018. In 2016, Housing Associations were tasked with delivering more than 15,000 of the 50,000 social homes committed to in Rebuilding Ireland by 2021. As of end 2020, we’ve delivered 14,136 long-term social homes. So we’re going to exceed our 15,000 target for 2021. Working in partnership with local authorities across the country, we’ve increased the number of homes in AHB ownership and management by almost 50%, from 30,000 in 2016 to in excess of 43,000. With a current construction pipeline of 15,651 social homes, our member organisations are not going to let the Covid-19 pandemic get in the way of a major AHB social housing growth programme in response to the housing crisis”.

AHBs are well positioned to take on significant delivery targets and should be tasked to deliver at least 50% of the 50,000 social homes under the Government’s forthcoming Housing for All Plan. AHB homes provide long-term, secure, affordable housing for people on a non-profit basis and our member organisations are committed to increasing access to housing for people locked out of the market. The ICSH is calling for the Land Development Agency to work in partnership with AHBs and assemble sites in public ownership in the short-term and lands in private ownership over the longer-term to significantly increase our social housing stock and deliver greater numbers of cost rental homes.

ICSH President Pat Doyle, and CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust said: “I would like to pay tribute to the members of the ICSH for their incredible work in 2020. Approved Housing Bodies across Ireland delivered a large number of high-quality homes for people and communities across Ireland, despite facing very significant challenges because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Given those challenges, we still saw significant achievements across the sector. In particular, a number of AHBs continued to secure and deliver new financial streams for social housing delivery. Borrowing increased via the Housing Finance Agency and progress was made on the delivery of cost rental and affordable housing solutions by our members. This, together with the delivery of innovative housing schemes, and homes for key schemes such as Housing First (which addresses the needs of people sleeping rough), demonstrate the sector’s ongoing ability to step up and play a greater role in improving the Irish housing system.”

“With the passage of both the Affordable Housing Bill, the Land Development Agency Bill and the Government’s forthcoming Housing for All strategy, there is an opportunity to build a long-term strategy for genuine affordable housing delivery, both rental and purchase. Public land should be prioritised for social and cost rental housing to embed long term affordability in our housing system”, Donal McManus added.


Click here to access the Housing Association Activity Report 2020.

Housing Association Activity in 2020

  • Approved housing bodies delivered 42% (3,312 homes) of all long-term social housing in 2020.
  • The AHB sector now manages over 43,000 homes with approximately 10% added to the stock each year.
  • AHBs delivered more homes in 2020 than in 2018, despite Covid-19 obstacles.
  • 75% of AHB social housing delivery in 2020 were new build homes.
  • Of the 33,815 social homes in the pipeline, by end 2020, over 15,500 will be delivered by approved housing bodies.
  • €1 billion loan finance was approved by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) in 2020 for the provision of 4,515 homes.
  • 404 new supported housing homes were built in 2020 for special need groups including homeless housholds, for older people and people with disabilities.
  • 363 homes were completed in 2020 under Mortgage to Rent (To date 1,179 applications have been completed and 1,079 are actively being progressed)
  • 449 homeless individuals housed under Housing First by end of 2020.
  • ICSH Tenant Satisfaction Survey 2020 found a very high level of tenant satisfaction at 90%.
  • 280+ Housing Associations have signed up to the Voluntary Regulation Code in preparation for statutory regulation commencing in 2022.


 CASCALFLeasingHousing AgencyPart VTotal AHB outputTotal Output AHB+LA% AHB delivery
Build1561,945  371 2,4725,07348.7%
Acquisition248138 95  4811,31436.6%
Leasing  359   3591,44024.9%
 Totals404 2,083 359 95 371  3,312 7,827 42.3%

Approved housing bodies now use both the Capital Assistance Scheme and the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP) to deliver social housing. The SHCEP represents delivery using a funding stream known as CALF (build and acquisitions) and long-term leasing. This funding stream was introduced a number of years ago to underpin a funding arrangement based on approved housing bodies using private finance to deliver social housing. The new model entailed the sector engaging with private finance institutions and the HFA to arrange finance for build, acquisition and regeneration development.


Webinar: Retrofitting the AHB sector

21/04/2022 @ 14:3015:30

The sector has a challenge ahead of it with retrofitting high volumes of stock. This webinar is an opportunity for …


ICSH Annual General Meeting 2022

27/04/2022 @ 11:3012:30

Note: It had been intended to hold it in person in a hotel, but with recent upsurges in COVID cases, …