Approved Housing Bodies Exceeding Rebuilding Ireland 2021 Delivery Targets Despite Covid Challenges

42% of Social Housing Delivered by Housing Associations in 2020

-Housing Association Sector Launches its 2020 Social Housing Completions Report –

The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) will launch the Housing Association Activity Report 2020. Ireland’s housing association sector provided 3,312 social homes in 2020, 42% of the national total. 75% were new build social homes provided by ICSH members to households on the social housing waiting list, 14% were acquisitions and 11% were leased homes.

Dr. Donal McManus, ICSH Chief Executive stated:“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone involved in housing delivery. We are immensely proud of the work of our member organisations’ staff who, despite the numerous obstacle that the Covid-19 pandemic has presented, have insured that more keys to lifetime homes were handed over to AHB tenants in 2020 than in 2018. In 2016, Housing Associations were tasked with delivering more than 15,000 of the 50,000 social homes committed to in Rebuilding Ireland by 2021. As of end 2020, we’ve delivered 14,136 long-term social homes. So we’re going to exceed our 15,000 target for 2021. Working in partnership with local authorities across the country, we’ve increased the number of homes in AHB ownership and management by almost 50%, from 30,000 in 2016 to in excess of 43,000. With a current construction pipeline of 15,651 social homes, our member organisations are not going to let the Covid-19 pandemic get in the way of a major AHB social housing growth programme in response to the housing crisis”.

AHBs are well positioned to take on significant delivery targets and should be tasked to deliver at least 50% of the 50,000 social homes under the Government’s forthcoming Housing for All Plan. AHB homes provide long-term, secure, affordable housing for people on a non-profit basis and our member organisations are committed to increasing access to housing for people locked out of the market. The ICSH is calling for the Land Development Agency to work in partnership with AHBs and assemble sites in public ownership in the short-term and lands in private ownership over the longer-term to significantly increase our social housing stock and deliver greater numbers of cost rental homes.

ICSH President Pat Doyle, and CEO of the Peter McVerry Trust said: “I would like to pay tribute to the members of the ICSH for their incredible work in 2020. Approved Housing Bodies across Ireland delivered a large number of high-quality homes for people and communities across Ireland, despite facing very significant challenges because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Given those challenges, we still saw significant achievements across the sector. In particular, a number of AHBs continued to secure and deliver new financial streams for social housing delivery. Borrowing increased via the Housing Finance Agency and progress was made on the delivery of cost rental and affordable housing solutions by our members. This, together with the delivery of innovative housing schemes, and homes for key schemes such as Housing First (which addresses the needs of people sleeping rough), demonstrate the sector’s ongoing ability to step up and play a greater role in improving the Irish housing system.”

“With the passage of both the Affordable Housing Bill, the Land Development Agency Bill and the Government’s forthcoming Housing for All strategy, there is an opportunity to build a long-term strategy for genuine affordable housing delivery, both rental and purchase. Public land should be prioritised for social and cost rental housing to embed long term affordability in our housing system”, Donal McManus added.