Written answers

Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Housing Provision

Photo of Eoin Ó BroinEoin Ó Broin (Dublin Mid West, Sinn Fein)
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455. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the funding details approved by his Department for a social housing lease agreement between an organisation (details supplied) for 40 units of accommodation at a location; the length of time of the lease agreement; the average annual cost of the lease at this location; and if he will provide all other available information. [21539/21]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are making an important contribution to social housing delivery, as envisaged under current Government policy.  My Department operates a number of funding programmes that assist local authorities to work in partnership with AHBs to construct, purchase and lease new homes and make them available for social housing. One such programme that AHBs progress construction projects through is the Capital Advance Loan Facility (CALF).

CALF funding is capital support provided to AHBs by local authorities to facilitate the funding of construction, acquisition or refurbishment of new social housing units.  This loan facility can support up to 30% of the eligible capital cost of the housing project, with the housing units provided to local authorities for social housing use under long-term lease arrangements known as Payment and Availability Agreements. A nominal interest rate of 2% fixed per annum is charged by the local authority on the initial capital amount.Repayments on either the capital or interest are not required during the term of the loan (between 10 and 30 years), although where an AHB chooses to, repayments can be made during the term. At the end of the term, the outstanding capital amount plus the interest accrued, is owed and repayable to the local authority. The local authority issues the CALF monies to the AHB and the local authority, in turn, recoups same from my Department. The remainder of the capital is borrowed from private institutions, or the Housing Finance Agency.

Local authorities, as the statutory housing authorities, are the decision makers in relation to the suitability of a proposed social housing project. For example, local authorities are required to ensure that any project appropriately reflects the housing need in that particular area and that there is sufficient need in the area to support the units over time; the properties comply with relevant standards and regulatory requirements; and the objectives of creating and maintaining sustainable communities are being met. The facility is only available as part of a project where the AHB makes homes available under a Payment & Availability agreement to nominees of the housing authority for a set period of time.

My Department does not release specific information at a project level as these transactions are commercially sensitive and contain proprietary information that may impact on the competitiveness of the Approved Housing Body sector. However, it can be confirmed that the Payment and Availability Agreement will be in place for 30 years.

Blackbanks View comprises of 40 high-quality homes for social housing use, that was progressed by the AHB, Cluid Housing, in the location referred to, working in partnership with Dublin City Council. The project has the support of the local authority and has met all of the requirements for funding, in line with Departmental policies and financial assessments. My Department issued a CALF approval for this Turnkey project in January 2021. This project was completed in April 2021.

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