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Irish Council for Social Housing Welcomes Publication of Affordable Housing Bill 2020

The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) has welcomed Minister Darragh O’Brien’s publication of the Affordable Housing Bill 2020 which, alongside other affordability measures, will put the rollout of cost rental housing across the State on a legislative footing, starting with the delivery of 400 cost rental homes in 2021.  

The central principle of cost rental housing is that the rents charged cover only the costs incurred in delivering (land, construction and finance costs), managing and maintaining the homes. A key objective of cost rental is to make available affordable housing for moderate income households. The ICSH is pleased that the General Scheme of the Affordable Housing Bill 2020 commits to maintaining rents at affordable prices in line with many existing cost rental models in other EU jurisdictions, that have been proven effective in sustaining long-term affordable rental housing.

Speaking on foot of the publication today of the Affordable Housing Bill 2020, ICSH CEO, Donal McManus said: “The ICSH and our member organisations have been calling for the development of secure and affordable rental solutions for low- and middle-income households for some time, in line with the 2014 recommendations from the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) to grow non-profit cost-rental housing provision so that it will ‘gradually shape the overall rental sector’. Our housing association members are well-placed to play their part in an ambitious national rollout of cost rental housing.”

Donal McManus added: “The General Scheme of the Affordable Housing Bill 2020 identifies cost rental housing as a form of tenure that will develop over the coming years. It is important to stress that this is a major milestone in the development of a more progressive and inclusive national housing policy. And our housing association members support it. Non-profit housing associations have a strong track record in the provision and management of housing and have the experience to assist Government in the delivery of new rental models that produce affordable rents. In 2021, housing associations will deliver on the first Cost Rental scheme in Ireland and the Bill will underpin this vital new form of housing delivery”.

The Scheme of the Affordable Housing Bill 2020 can be downloaded here.