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State’s First Cost Rental Homes Delivered

In partnership with the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, Clúid Housing today announces the delivery of Ireland’s first cost rental homes in Balbriggan, Co. Dublin.

The 25 new homes are a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom properties. Under the Cost Rental Scheme, rents for the homes are set at a minimum of 25% below open market values with prices for the Taylor Hill, Balbriggan homes starting at €935 per month – around 50% below local market rates. Applications officially open on the Clúid website today, with the properties available to move into in early August.

390 homes
Cost rental is a new form of tenure in Ireland where residents will pay rents that are solely based on the cost to build, manage, and maintain the homes. Budget 2021 ringfenced €35 million in funding for the pilot Cost Rental Scheme. Today’s announcement comes as a result of the Government’s support for AHBs to deliver approximately 390 pilot cost rental homes under Housing for All, a key commitment in the Programme for Government. Under the Affordable Housing Bill 2021, the Cost Rental Scheme will enable Clúid to set rents for this development at the below monthly rates:

• 2 bed house – €935 per calendar month
• 3 bed house – €1,100 per calendar month
• 4 bed house – €1,150 per calendar month

Eligibility
The Balbriggan homes are conveniently located close to social, educational, commercial, transport and recreational amenities. The properties are semi-furnished with white goods and flooring supplied. To apply for the cost rental homes, applicants are obliged to provide evidence of the following eligibility criteria:

• Net household income is below €53,000 per annum
• Not in receipt of any social housing supports
• Do not own a property
• Household size matches the size of the property advertised
• Applicants can afford to pay the cost rent for the home
• Household has only entered one application for a specific cost rental property*

Should more applications be received than properties available, completed applications will be selected at random. The random selection system is automated and auditable to ensure a fair application process for all.

Financing of up to €100m
One of three AHBs selected (along with Respond and Tuath), Clúid was chosen to deliver the first cost rental homes as part of a competitive assessment process. In total, the three organisations will deliver 390 cost rental homes across the country. The Cost Rental Scheme is administered by the Housing Agency, on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Housing Agency will oversee the administration of the loan arrangements including the drafting of the agreement for the Cost Rental Equity Loan (CREL) to fund the purchase of each property. The Housing Finance Agency (HFA) has also made financing of up to €100m available to support the delivery of cost rental homes. These first 25 homes are being purchased by Clúid from Glenveagh who have delivered a mix of private, social, and now cost rental homes in the Taylor Hill development.

Darragh O’Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, said: “Establishing cost rental as a new form of tenure in Ireland was a key commitment in the Programme for Government. In less than one year we have announced funding for this new model, opened a call for proposals from our AHB sector, put cost rental on a legislative footing, and now here today we announce the first cost rental homes. Cost rental aims to help households with moderate income access affordable, secure tenancies in accommodation suitable to their needs. Rents in cost rental homes will be a minimum 25% below open market value and tenants will pay rent that covers the costs of delivering, managing, and maintaining the homes only. Today is a really exciting milestone in our delivery of cost rental. This year we will deliver 440 cost rental homes in total and we are working with AHBs and with the LDA to significantly scale up our delivery of much needed cost rental homes,” he concluded.

Fiona Cormican, Clúid’s New Business Director, commented: “Clúid’s vision is ‘a society where everyone has a great place to live’. To achieve our vision, we know we need to continue to be an innovative organisation. We are so grateful for the opportunity to deliver these first cost rental homes in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Housing Agency, the Housing Finance Agency, Fingal County Council and Glenveagh. Today, for the first time, we are seeing truly mixed tenure communities, with distinct housing options, establishing themselves. Here in Balbriggan, we now see cost rental, private, and social homes altogether in this high-quality development.”

“Along with our partners, Clúid is proud to have been selected to deliver the State’s first cost rental homes. These new homes here in Taylor Hill, Balbriggan offer excellent quality, long term secure rental options for middle income households and those struggling to rent on the open market.”

“The introduction of the Cost Rental Scheme marks a fundamental shift in the way people rent in Ireland. Cost rental offers long-term, secure tenancy at a reduced rent, at least 25% below the average local area rent and for some properties, a discount even greater than 25% will be offered. As long as your rent is paid and the tenancy agreement is followed, you can continue to rent the property for as long as you like. Combined, this security of tenure and affordable rent will change how we think about renting in Ireland.” she continued.

“Clúid has an ambitious growth strategy to deliver an additional 3,000 new social and cost rental homes before the end of 2022. We are hopeful the success of these first cost rental homes will lead to longer term commitments from Government on the future of the Cost Rental Scheme. Once final contracts are signed, we are already planning to deliver two more cost rental developments before the end of 2022; one in Kildare and another in Cork City.” concluded Cormican.

CEO of The Housing Finance Agency, Barry O’Leary said “The HFA is delighted to support the first Cost Rental scheme that is due to be delivered by Clúid Housing in Taylor Hill, Balbriggan, Co Dublin. The HFA provides long term, fixed rate finance that enables approved housing bodies such as Clúid to deliver much needed homes for families at a considerable reduction to market rates. We look forward to further collaboration with AHBs in the delivery of both Cost Rental and Affordable Purchase homes”.

ENDS

Notes to the Editor:
James Harold – Communications Manager – Clúid Housing
+353 87 373 2765 – jharold@cluid.ie

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