Thursday, 18 November 2021
Saincheisteanna Tráthúla - Topical Issue Debate
I thank Deputies Bríd Smith and Costello for raising this important matter around St. Michael's estate and how the rents will be set. Within the past year, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage has developed an entirely new policy framework to enable the development of cost rental housing in Ireland, culminating in its inclusion in the Government’s Affordable Housing Act. The Minister has also rolled out funding for cost rental through the cost rental equity loan schemes for approved housing bodies, AHBs, and the affordable housing fund for local authorities.
The Government's Housing for All plan included a number of significant improvements to the affordable housing fund for local authorities above and beyond the previous serviced sites fund, under which Dublin City Council had been approved for €18.7 million in funding. These changes include allowing the funding support to exceed the previous maximum €50,000 per affordable dwelling on a step scale up to €100,000, based on location and density. This could assist a reduction in rents at this important site even further. When this capital subvention is combined with utilisation of local authority land and the long-term low-interest finance available from the Housing Finance Agency and the European Investment Bank, the level of financial supports will have a real impact on the resulting rents that can be charged for these types of homes. These will not be linked to the market or tenant income and will be financially sustainable cost rents, as set out in the Affordable Housing Act.
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage fully supports the cost-rental development and will continue to work with Dublin City Council to achieve its realisation.