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Applications open for the State's first purpose-built cost rental homes

Properties are aimed at people who are above the threshold for social housing but are unable to afford a home of their own.
Sep 7th 2021, 10:45 AM 24,928 30

LOTTERY-STYLE APPLICATIONS have opened for the State’s first purpose-built cost rental homes, located on Dublin’s southside.

The 50 two-bed apartments at Enniskerry Road, Stepaside will be rented to tenants at a monthly rent of €1,200, and are aimed at people who are above the threshold for social housing but are unable to afford a home of their own.

Housing agencies Respond and Tuath Housing will manage these homes, with applications opening today on their websites. Those eligible to apply are people who earn less than €53,000 a year, are not in receipt of any social housing supports and don’t own a property.

The application process is being launched today and eligible tenants will be randomly selected. The Dublin 18 site also includes 105 social homes, which will be shared out between Respond and Tuath Housing.

In cost-rental properties, where the price of rent is equal to the cost of the build alone, tenants are charged an amount that covers the cost of delivering, managing and maintaining a home only. This means prices are not driven by market movements, making it more affordable, and there is no risk of the developer making a profit.

“Cost rental is a new departure in the delivery of housing in Ireland, providing a new type of housing tenure in addition to social housing, private renting and private purchase,” CEO of Respond, Declan Dunne said.

Daragh O’Sullivan, chairman of Tuath Housing added: “We are thrilled to be involved in a project which offers moderate-income households the choice of a more affordable, long-term and stable form of rental tenure than exists presently, with the added benefit that their rent will not be driven by price changes in the private rental market.”

_PMC4144 Source: Respond

Plans for the scheme were first approved in February under the Affordable Housing Bill 2021. The most recent Budget ringfenced €35 million for Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) to deliver approximately 350 cost-rental homes this year at a minimum of 25% below open-market values.

Long-term loans on “favourable terms” will be made available from the State to AHBs to cover up to 30% of the development. The remaining 70% will be covered through long-term commercial loans from €100m made available by the Housing Finance Agency.

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Under the Housing For All plan, the government is aiming to deliver 300,000 homes made up of 90,000 social homes, 36,000 affordable homes, 18,000 cost rental homes – with 156,000 homes being private sector builds by the end of 2030.

Applications for the State’s first 25 cost-rental homes, located in Balbriggan, opened in July. 

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