PRIVATE FINANCING COULD help to ease waiting lists for social rented housing in Ireland, according to a new report.
Clúid Housing Association’s report, which examined two countries that used such methods, asserts that private finance could help to provide homes to thousands of people currently on social housing waiting lists.
The report looked at how the UK and Canada successfully employ a private finance model and identified some of the key measures that would help to make private finance work in Ireland.
“Government funding can be employed more effectively by using it to leverage private finance which in turn will deliver more social housing. Other countries have taken to this model already and it has proved to return a much greater funding stream,” said Clúid’s Head of Policy, Simon Brooke.
The report called for an independent regulator for the social housing sector, noting that effective regulation was “the single most important element in creating an environment in which private funders can lend to associations with confidence”.
Clúid noted that the significant reduction in Government funding available to housing associations had led to an increase in those seeking private funding – either in the form of funding from banks or from the Housing Finance Agency.
It added that private funding is supported on a low level by Government and that, as “one of the biggest providers of social housing in Ireland”, Clúid is in a position to source this funding.
Ahead of the launch, Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan said the Government saw the voluntary and cooperative housing associations as being “at the heart of social housing provision in the years ahead”.
She added: “The use of loan finance has the potential to develop a stronger, more sustainable funding base for social housing and the challenge for the sector now is to learn from experiences abroad as applied to the Irish context.”
Read the full report: Clúid Financing the Irish Social Rented Housing Sector>