Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
1393. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government his plans to introduce a national affordable rental scheme to facilitate the roll-out of cost rental housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6993/20]
Acknowledging that renters in Dublin and other major urban centres are facing significant housing access and affordability challenges, the Government is committed to the establishment of a cost rental sector in Ireland. Cost rental is housing which does not include a profit margin and therefore rents can be set at a level that only needs to cover the cost of delivering, managing, and maintaining the homes.
I have established a working group involving my Department, the Land Development Agency (LDA), the Housing Agency and other expert bodies, which is developing a policy framework for the cost rental model and examining how a sustainable financing structure can be established to commence delivery of homes at the scale required to get this new category of housing established. Detailed operational and eligibility criteria for cost rental will be informed by this evidence building and policy work. The work of this group will also be assisted by research and other support that is being undertaken by the European Investment Bank (EIB) on behalf of my Department, drawing on the EIB's extensive international experience in this area.
My Department's work on cost rental is also being supported by two pilot projects, at the former St. Michael's Estate in Inchicore and at Enniskerry Road in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown. The latter of these has already commenced construction, supported by EIB funding, and the first homes are anticipated to come on stream from 2021. Additionally, the LDA and some local authorities are actively considering cost rental as an option for sites within their land portfolios. An example of this can be seen in the planning application which has been submitted for lands in Shanganagh in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, where the LDA will work in partnership with the County Council to deliver over 350 cost rental homes.
The selection of further sites for cost rental consideration will be informed by emerging policy and by the financial and operational model that will be developed from the work outlined above.