Housing Alliance calls for new government to introduce affordable rental scheme

Housing Alliance calls for new government to introduce affordable rental scheme

The Housing Alliance is calling on the parties involved in government formation talks to agree to introduce an affordable rental scheme, that would be provided by Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs).

This would involve AHBs acquiring and building housing developments specifically for long-term rental purposes, with rents priced significantly less than market rates.

The Housing Alliance is a collaboration of six of Ireland’s largest AHBs.

They said they have written “to all parties involved in Government negotiations in recent days, urging them to make affordable rental housing provided by AHBs a central pillar of housing policy in the new Programme for Government.”

They say that AHBs “have built, owned and managed over 22,000 homes and have a strong track record of building and managing quality housing that also supports the building of communities. 

“In other European countries, intermediate rental property acts to counter the ‘boom and bust’ cycles which plague the Irish housing market.”

Declan Dunne, Chair of the Housing Alliance said: “Many families and individuals need secure affordable rental housing.

“Currently, the only option open to them is to pay high rents in the private market. Though their incomes are relatively low or moderate, they do not qualify for social housing.

“We need an intermediate model of affordable rental homes at rents below these high private-market rents. 

“The not-for-profit Approved Housing Bodies are already delivering homes in partnership with Local Authorities and are best placed to build and manage these affordable homes.”

The Housing Alliance says their rental scheme "would see AHBs and Local Authorities acquiring and constructing housing developments specifically for long-term affordable rental purposes, with rents priced at up to 75% of prevailing market rents.

"The housing – with long-term security of tenure – would be allocated to renters based on defined minimum and maximum household income eligibility limits."

Mr Dunne said the Affordable Rental Scheme would not displace social housing.

He said “it would provide a valuable addition to the housing market for those on incomes above social housing income thresholds but still struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

“We envisage such a scheme having a stabilising effect on the broader private rental market.”

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