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Housing associations or approved housing bodies must be set up as a company or trust in order to be granted approved housing status. The process of establishing a housing association as a legal entity can appear daunting in isolation and so the ICSH provides a legal registration service for new organisations to guide them through this process. 

The first step in this process is for a prospective housing association to meet with an ICSH development officer. This is an important step in ascertaining whether an organisation is viable in terms of its structure and whether it offers added value in the provision of social housing. It is also important for propspective new groups to meet with their local authority before formally establishing, to get the support of the local authority and to determine that their planned projects would meet a social housing need in their area. New groups are also encouraged to consider collaboration with an existing housing association who may be able to take on the development for them. 

For groups who wish to proceed in establishing as a housing association, the Legal Registration Service costs €600 and includes the following:

  • Supply of Constitution / Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Legal incorporation of company
  • Assistance with applications for charitable and approved status
  • Provision of a company seal
  • 1st year membership of the ICSH
  • General guidance on housing development
  • Information on governance issues

The company constitution that the ICSH uses is a standard document that has been specially worded for housing associations to meet the requirements of the Companies Act as well as the requirements of the Department of Housing for approved status, the Chartities Regulator and the Revenue Commissioners for charitable tax exemption.  

ICSH members and organisations availing of the legal registration service will also be kept advised on updates to relevant legislation and and the ways in which their housing associations will be affected.

For further information of the ICSH legal registration service, please contact Catherine McGillycuddy at