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Current News

Seminar 28th November 2017 - Homelessness: What Should the Future Priorities be?

 

Ireland 2040 Public Consultation - Housing Agency submission

Ireland 2040 Public Consultation - Housing Agency submission

The Housing Agency welcomes the National Planning Framework (NPF) and believes that the NPF can provide a vision and framework for the implementation of sustainable planning policy in the coming years and that it has a positive role to play in how we address our current housing crisis.

This submission by the Housing Agency sets out the Agency’s suggestions on the draft National Planning Framework (NPF) from a housing and housing related perspective. It follows on from the original submission on relevant planning issues for the NPF made by the Housing Agency in March 2017.

The submission is in four parts:

1. General recommendations including recommendations relating to some of the key points made in the Introduction to the NPF, Ireland 2040 - Overview and Key Messages;  

2. Housing related recommendations.

3. Summary of recommendations.

4. Further contact/information.

Please click here to see full submission

 
 
 
 
Expression of Interest - New Mortgage to Rent Scheme Long Term Lease Arrangements

Expression of Interest - New Mortgage to Rent Scheme Long Term Lease Arrangements

October 26th 2017

The Housing Agency is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified participants interested in entering into long term lease arrangements with local authorities for the provision of accommodation to eligible households under the Mortgage to Rent Scheme.

The closing date for receipt of EOI submissions is 5pm on the 21st December 2017.

Please click the link above for full details.

 

 

 

Press Release on Budget 2018

The Housing Agency welcomes Budget 2018.

The Housing Agency sees the following as the main areas of benefit following Budget 2018.

Home Building Finance Ireland (HBFI)

“The setting up of Home Building Finance Ireland with a €750 million fund for housing development will make a difference. This will assist in providing much needed funding to support housing development. The target should be to support home builders in delivering housing and bringing empty properties back into use.”

Affordable Housing

“The reintroduction of affordable housing both to rent and buy is very important. The initial allocation of €25m coupled with the use of local authority and state land can be an effective approach to provide affordable homes for those who cannot afford to rent or buy on the open market.”

Mortgage to Rent Scheme

“The increase to €22m of funding for the expansion of the Mortgage to Rent Scheme will allow many more households to remain in the homes.”

“We need to continue our focus on helping households in mortgage arrears.”

Taxation and Site Levies

“The changes to capital gains tax and the site levels will get land owners focused on making use of their land for housing delivery.”

“Tax reliefs for work on vacant homes to encourage owners to get them back into use is the type of initiative that the Housing Agency fully supports. We need to incentivise and support owners of these properties to get these vacant houses occupied again.”

To find more information on the Housing Agency please visit, www.housingagency.ie or go to the twitter page @HousingAgencyIE.

 

 

 

 

Housing Agency Annual Conference 2017 - Croke Park

Housing Agency host Annual Conference 2017 to discuss policies to future proof the Irish Housing Sector

28/06/2017

The Housing Agency today held its annual conference in Cork Park at which the topic Future Proofing Housing: Sustainable and Affordable homes for all was discussed by a panel of housing experts in the company of the new Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy T.D.

Speaking at the conference today Minister Murphy said; “It is a priority for this government that we continue to vigorously tackle the under lying problems in the Irish housing market. The Rebuilding Ireland programme is just over a year in operation and I will soon begin a review of that programme to ensure that we are doing all that we can to drive the change necessary in the sector. The Rebuilding Ireland plan is working but if there are lessons to be learned one year in we should learn them and move forward with the strongest possible programme that will deliver for families the length and breadth of this country. While we deal with the immediate challenges faced by families trying to find an affordable home today we must also look to the future to ensure that we can meet the challenges that lie ahead.  This mix of expert speakers here today is enormously useful in informing that future proofing policy work currently being undertaken by officials in my department.” 

Speaking at the conference today Chief Executive of the Housing Agency, John O’Connor said, “Each year the Housing Agency annual conference presents an opportunity for those of us tasked with implementing and informing government housing policy to hear from leading experts in the sector. This year’s conference has a forward looking theme. We will today examine the challenges in delivering affordable and sustainable communities in the future. Three years ago the Housing Agency held a summit bringing together a wide range of housing specialists to examine ways to increase housing supply in the short term. The recommendations that came from that summit directly impacted the future direction of government housing policy and we hope that this year’s conference will do the same. I am very much looking forward to hearing what our expert speakers have to say.”

Speakers at the 2017 conference today include: 

Dr. Conor Skehan, Chair of Housing Agency

Dr. Brian Hughes, Urban Economics and Demographic Consultant

Dr. David Duffy, Director, Property Industry Ireland

Dr Kieran Feighan, President of Engineers Ireland

Marian Finnegan, Chief Economist & Director of Research, Sherry Fitzgerald Group

Annual Housing Conference 28th June 2017 Presentations

For more information please visit www.housingagency.ie or visit www.twitter.com/housingagencyie.

 

 

Housing Agency launch on-line Affordability Calculator

Housing Agency launch on-line Affordability Calculator

for prospective renters and home owners

Housing Agency urge those in mortgage arrears to seek advice

9 May 2017

The Housing Agency today launched an on-line affordability calculator aimed at providing prospective renters and home owners with guidance on how much they can afford to spend on rent or mortgage repayments taking their individual financial circumstances into account.

The Housing Agency calculator is independent and easy to use. It can be found at: www.housingagency.ie

Speaking today at the launch of the on-line calculator at a Housing Agency lecture in Dublin Castle on “Engaging with Mortgage Arrears” John O’Connor Chief Executive of the Housing Agency said: “The ongoing housing cost for a household whether renting or paying a mortgage, needs to be affordable. In order to assist people, we are providing an online affordability calculator.”

Speaking at the Housing Agency lecture in Dublin Castle today Claire Feeney of the mortgage support services division in the Housing Agency said: “There is help available for people who find themselves in mortgage arrears. People in this situation should contact their lender or the Money Advice and Budging Service (MABS) or other support agencies to get access to the support they need. The State’s Mortgage to Rent Scheme has been reformed and is available to help more families and individuals who can no longer manage their mortgage repayments.”

The calculator was launched at the latest lecture in the Housing Agency’s quarterly lecture series. Speaking at the event today in Dublin Castle on the topic of mortgage arrears was Angela Black, CEO of the Citizens’ Information Board, Claire Feeney from the Housing Agency and Karl Deeter from Advisors.ie.

To find more information on the calculator, presentations from the lecture and the Housing Agency please visit, www.housingagency.ie. Or go to the twitter page @HousingAgencyIE.

 

 

 

 

Minister Simon Conveney Annouces Maynooth and Cobh as Rent Pressure Zones

Housing Agency Press Release on Rent Pressure Zones

30 Mar 2017

The Housing Agency acknowledges Minister Coveney’s announcement of the designation of two additional local electoral areas as Rent Pressure Zones, following recommendations from the Agency. 

These are the local electoral areas of Cobh in Cork and Maynooth in Kildare. This brings to 14 the number of local electoral areas, along with all of Dublin and Cork City, which have been designated as rent pressure zones. It is importation to appreciate that it is two local electoral areas that are designated. 

The Cobh local electoral area covers areas to the east and north of Cork City. The Maynooth electoral area covers a large portion of north Kildare, including Clane. The remaining areas of north Kildare covering Leixlip and Celbridge were designated in January. 

At this stage, approximately 60% of all rental properties nationally are in designated rent pressure zones. This gives tenants in rental properties and landlords greater certainty and predictability in relation to the maximum annual rent increases permitted. 

It is important that we support a strong viable and attractive rental sector that delivers affordable and high quality accommodation for tenants and a secure environment for landlords.

John O’Connor, CEO of the Housing Agency said that:

“It is important to recognise the increasingly important role that the rental sector must play in the supply of quality accommodation. The Agency will continue to work to achieve a stable and high quality rental market across the country.”

 

 

 

 

Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal Damien English TD published the fifth annual progress report and seventh housing survey on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments

Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal Damien English TD published the fifth annual progress report

21st of March

Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal Damien English TD, today (21st March 2017) published the fifth annual progress report and seventh housing survey on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments.  This reveals an “85% drop in the unfinished developments since 2010 from nearly 3000 to 420.  2016 alone saw the resolution of 248 developments”.

Minister English was speaking at the launch of the report that includes the results from the 2016 National Housing Development Survey which tracks progress on unfinished housing developments since 2010.  Among the key findings of this year’s survey are:

  • 85% decrease in the number of unfinished developments over the last 6 years;
  • 248 developments resolved in 2016;
  • 420 unfinished developments remaining;
  • 2,000 units currently being utilised for social housing purposes; and
  • All developments resolved in one local authority.

Minister English indicated that his objective is to resolve all remaining unfinished housing developments especially those within high market demand locations and strive for 100% turnaround. 

The Minister acknowledges the results of the 2016 survey which indicate that the parts of developments that are occupied are, in the vast amount of cases, now well established and finished to a good standard. South Dublin County Council is the first local authority area to have zero unfinished developments and the Minister wants to ensure that 2017 will see other local authorities following suit.

In line with the commitment in Rebuilding Ireland, the Department also intends to engage with the relevant local authorities and stakeholders to explore the range of strategic acquisition options available to local authorities to take up remaining, suitable and required vacant units.  In order to progress this action, each local authority will be actively seeking expressions of interest from developers, receivers etc. in order to acquire vacant or near complete units within appropriate developments for social housing purposes.

In conclusion, the Minister signalled that his “objective for the following year is to bring back vacant units into reuse for social housing purposes with the potential acquisition / leasing of 1,300 vacant units as a major objective for 2017”.

 

 

 

 

The National Statement of Housing Supply & Demand and Outlook of 2017 – 2018.

The National Statement of Housing Supply & Demand and Outlook of 2017 – 2018.

8th of Feb

The Housing Agency launched the second edition of the National Statement of Housing Supply and Demand  today in Dublin Castle. This brings together up to date information on housing trends for 2015 and 2016 while looks ahead to future demand.

This comes at a time when our economy is recovering and employment levels are rising. A sustainable housing system will be important to maintaining Ireland’s competitiveness.

Under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness a number of initiatives are now underway to help resolve the housing crisis. This Statement reports that while housing completions continue to rise, the rate of increase is still below supply requirements, particularly in urban areas, where affordability is also a problem.

New Builds  - The latest construction statistics, included in this report, indicate sufficient development land, a growth in construction activity and further progress in completion of unfinished estates.

Sales - Residential sales declined in 2016 for the first time in 4 years as house prices continue to increase, albeit at a slower pace than heretofore.

Rental Sector - Rents continue to rise throughout the country and reached new record levels in Dublin in 2016.  International and domestic analysis indicates an affordability problem in particular parts of the country including Dublin, urban areas and the East of the country. Policy and legislative changes have been introduced in the past two years to improve planning and stabilise the rental sector,

Current and Future Housing Demand - A growing population and smaller household sizes are contributing to demand while the population shift toward Dublin. Census 2016 information the report shows population growth around our major cities as well as age profile changes.

Policy and Legislation - During 2015 and 2016 a substantial number of legislative changes and Government initiatives were introduced in response to housing issues in Ireland. The key measures were in the areas of housing legislation, taxation changes, changes to mortgage lending rules and changes made to housing delivery channels.

The Housing Agency will launch its National Statement on Housing Supply & Demand at Georges Hall, Dublin Castle today (Tuesday 7th February) when the key speakers will be the Housing Agency’s Policy Director, David Silke, William Hynes Director of Future Analytics Consulting, David O’Connor, Director of the Housing Delivery Office and Rosalind Carroll, Director of the Rental Tenancies Board.

 

 

 

 

Call for Proposals for the Sale of Property Portfolios

Call for Proposals for the Sale of Property Portfolios

24 Jan 2017

The Housing Agency has been tasked with the acquisition of vacant housing for social housing use under the Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness. The Agency’s role in this regard is to engage with banks, investors and other potential owners of multiple property portfolios to acquire properties on a national basis. The Agency is therefore seeking proposals from Property Owners/ Builders/ Developers   for the sale of suitable properties. A multi property proposal should be for the sale of 3 or more properties.

Proposals are invited for the supply of multiple property portfolios of completed vacant houses or apartments that are fit for purpose, as per the requirements detailed in this brief, for social housing in all cities, towns and villages within the Republic of Ireland where a housing need exists.      

The Agency is not seeking expressions for individual properties. Any persons with individual properties should contact the relevant local authority to enquiry about purchases.

 

 

 

 

Summary of the Social Housing Needs Assessment 2016 Published

Summary of Social Housing Assessment 2016

The purpose of the Assessment is to count the total number of households qualified for social housing support to inform policy and plan for the right types of housing support.  It brings together information provided by local authorities about the numbers of households assessed as qualified for housing support on a prescribed date - 21 September 2016. 

The headline figure from the Assessment is ‘net need’ – that is the number of households qualifying for social housing support whose social housing need is not being met.  The net need figure from this Assessment is 91,600 households – this is a 1.9% increase on the last count, undertaken in 2013.

The report provides a breakdown of the data by set criteria – local authority, age, household composition, current tenure, basis of need, accommodation requirements, source of income, length of time on the list, etc.

 

 

 

 

Minister Coveney’s announcement of the Government’s Rental Strategy

Minister Coveney’s announcement of the Government’s Rental Strategy

 
13 Dec 2016

The Housing Agency welcomes Minister Coveney’s announcement of the Government’s Rental Strategy together with its package of actions designed to deliver a strong viable and attractive rental sector that delivers affordable and high quality accommodation for tenants and a secure, predictable investment environment for landlords and accommodation providers. We look forward to working with all parties on the assessment and implementation of Rent Pressure Zones described in the strategy.

Welcoming the launch John O’Connor, CEO of the Housing Agency said that:

It is important to recognise the increasingly important role that the rental sector must play in the supply of quality accommodation. This Rental Strategy addresses the key issues of the sector and takes action on rent inflation.

 

 

 

 

Housing design guidelines launched to assist those living with persistent mental health conditions

 

Housing design guidelines launched to assist those living with persistent mental health conditions

15 Nov 2016

Ireland takes lead in publishing housing design guidelines to encourage independent living for those with persistent mental health conditions

Today the Housing Agency together with the HSE launched first of its kind design guidelines for those providing accommodation for people living with persistent mental health conditions. This is the first time any such design guidelines targeting this cohort of the population have been produced anywhere in the world. The Housing Agency and the HSE have drawn together best practice in home design for people living with enduring and life altering mental health conditions into design guidelines to help facilitate independent living.

The guidelines can be used by anyone supporting those living with mental health conditions (e.g. health care professionals, architects, designers, builders, families, individuals, Local Authorities, Housing Bodies, etc). The aim is to help overcome some of the obstacles to and reduce the amount of assistance required for a person with a persistent mental health condition to maintain and run their home.

Some recommendations included in the guidelines are:

  1. Maximizing daylight, reducing noise exposure in the built environment (all of which can exacerbate mental health issues if not designed into homes)
  2. Ensuring natural elements such as plants and views of the natural environment from windows (can reduce stress and diminish cognitive fatigue)
  3. Low maintenance accommodation and gardens (reducing need for additional support)
  4. Monitored smoke, gas, heat, CO2 detector alarms (also controls with audio and touch based clues for ease of use)
  5. Use of appliances that are undemanding and straightforward to operate e.g one action to turn on and off
  6. Ensuring homes are located in diverse, active communities close to essential amenities and support services

Speaking at the launch of the report today Mr John O’Connor Chief Executive of the Housing Agency said the following: “This housing design guide is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Drawing on best practice and the experience of mental health experts and others we hope that this guide will make it easier for those living with enduring mental health conditions to live independently in our communities. We know that small changes in house design and layout can have a hugely positive impact on people living with Mental Health conditions. Over the past 10 years we have seen a huge change in how buildings have been modified to help those with physical disabilities to live independent lives. Now it’s time to bring that focus to support those living with mental health conditions so that they too can live independent lives in a safer environment.”

Speaking at the launch today Minister Helen McEntee T.D. said the following: “Government policy is to support those with enduring mental health conditions to move from congregated settings to live in the heart of their local communities. With these design guidelines Ireland is leading the way in focusing the minds and talents of people who support those with mental health conditions to create homes appropriate to their needs. Equipping people to live independent lives is at the core of government policy in this area”

Speaking at the launch today one of the report authors HSE occupational therapist Aine O’Reilly said the following; “I know from my work with people living with challenging mental health conditions that leading a fulfilling, independent life matters a great deal to many of them. I was also aware that no guidelines existed for architects, builders or designers to help guide them on how to best design and layout a home for this section of the population. This guide is the result of the work of a group of mental health professionals, architects, housing providers, service users and carers, assistive technologists and building project managers who worked with the aim of bringing together their expertise to address this information gap. We’re hoping this guide will be a practical design manual that will help hundreds of people with mental health conditions every year to live more fulfilling, independent and happier lives.”   

The Design for Mental Health - Housing Design Guidelines is available here

 

 

 

 

Housing Agency Autumn Lecture Series on Building Affordable and Sustainable Communities

Housing Agency Autumn Lecture Series on Building Affordable and Sustainable Communities

01 Nov 2016

On Tuesday 25 October 2016, the Housing Agency, held the second in its  Series of Autumn Lectures on the theme of ‘Building Affordable and Sustainable Communities’.  The keynote speaker was Terrie Alafat, CEO of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH). Dr Michelle Norris, Head of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice responded.

Housing is about more than bricks and mortar. The Housing Agency invited Terrie Alafat to address this keynote seminar at Dublin Castle. CIH was founded in 1916 and it was a fitting way to mark 100 years for CIH’s chief executive to reflect on our experience and to give her perspective on how to build sustainable communities.

 

 

 

 

Launch of Regulation Office 2015 Annual Report and Sectoral Analysis

Launch of Regulation Office 2015 Annual Report and Sectoral Analysis

19 Oct 2016

The Regulation Office at the Housing Agency has released its second Annual Report and Sectoral Analysis on the regulation of AHBs.The Annual Report provides key data and analysis on the AHB sector operating in Ireland based on individual regulatory assessment of 203 AHBs that completed a return. The analysis gives a clear picture of the AHB sector nationally, including information on housing stock, performance, governance and financial management.

 

 

 

 

Conference on Housing For Older People - Thinking Ahead

Conference on Housing For Older People - Thinking Ahead

11 Oct 2016

The Housing Agency today launched new research on housing for older people at a special symposium on housing in the Royal Hospital, Kilmainham.

Speaking at the symposium today David Silke, Director of research at the Housing Agency said the following: “This new research is very valuable. We now for the first time have a detailed analysis of the housing market for older people which is important data for policy makers and other interested groups. By 2050 Ireland will be home to 458,000 people over the age of 80. Today only 130,000 people are over the age of 80 in this country.  There is a potential market for up to 100,000 purpose designed homes in Ireland and this represents €25 Billion worth of unmet need.”

The Research “Housing for older people – Thinking Ahead” was commissioned by the Housing Agency and Ireland Smart Ageing Exchange.  The research was undertaken by Gerard O’Neill, Amarach Research, with Dr Ronan Lyons (TCD), Dr Lorcan Sirr (DIT) and Keith Finglas Innovation Delivery.

Housing for Older People - Thinking Ahead Report

 

 

 

 

CONFERENCE: Collaboration and Partnering in Irish Construction Procurement

CONFERENCE: Collaboration and Partnering in Irish Construction Procurement

28 Sep 2016

Partnering and collaboration in the construction industry are initiatives to improve procurement and project delivery through early design team engagement, contractor involvement in design and cooperative client relationships. This leads to opportunities for value engineering and cost savings, more efficient use of technologies, and a systematic approach to identification and management of risks. Case Studies will be presented and the potential for collaboration to facilitate housing, infrastructure and commercial delivery will be explored.

Keynote: Professor David Mosey, Centre for Construction Law, King’s College London

Speakers: Darya Bahram, Architect & Arbitrator; Gerry Cahill, Architect & UCD Academic; Anthony Duffy, Head of Project Services, Transport Infrastructure Ireland; Louis Gunnigan, Director of Campus Planning, DIT Grangegorman; Richard Hayden, Project Manager, former Development & Technical Manager for London Borough of Hackney; Orla Hegarty, UCD School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy; Malachy Mathews, DIT Department of Architectural Technology; Ralph Montague, ArcDox; Walter Menteth, Portsmouth School of Architecture; Graeme Tinney, Griffiths & Armour Insurance; Deirdre Ní Fhloinn, Irish Research Council Scholar, PhD candidate, TCD; Nia Stewart, Solicitor, Trowers & Hamlins; others panellists to be confirmed.

 

 

 

 

Housing Agency host Build-to-Rent Lecture

Housing Agency host Build-to-Rent Lecture

10th of September

Speakers at the lecture included Alexandra Notay, Independent Advisor and author of over 30 books and reports on real estate including the renowned ULI UK Best Practice Guide on Build-to-Rent (2014 and 2016), Mr Aidan Culhane, chartered town planner advising on housing and planning matters at WK Nowlan Real Estate Advisors, and Niall Cussen, Principal Adviser of Planning in the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government. The lecture was chaired by Dr. Conor Skehan, Chairman of the Housing Agency.


Ms Notay, a renowned conference speaker on the subject of Build-to-Rent looked at US and UK Build-to-Rent models. She shared many ideas of the ULI and how the Build-to-Rent really works. She advised those in attendance of different models used in the UK and US, how these have a hugely positive effect on rents, confidence and a community. She stressed repeatedly, that the tenant must feel that they are renting the whole complex and not just their unit. During her presentation, she said, 


“Today we’re talking about the critically important ‘build-to-rent’ model – a distinct type of rental housing that is owned and operated in a new way, much more focussed around the tenant as a customer. Build to Rent, draws on the ‘multifamily’ model that is common in the US, but also reflects best practice from Europe. There’s a huge appetite in the UK for Build to Rent, from institutional investors who like the stable, long-term returns from this asset class, but also from Local Authorities who see it as an effective way of delivering much-needed housing supply across a range of tenures, at scale and to a high quality standard.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government launches the “Rebuilding Ireland – an Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness

Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government launches the

19 Jul 2016

Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government launches the  “Rebuilding Ireland – an Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness”, following Government approval of the comprehensive and ambitious Plan at today’s Cabinet meeting.  He was joined by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny and Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe.

This Plan provides a multi-stranded, action-oriented approach to achieving many of the Government’s key housing objectives, as set down in the Programme for a Partnership Government, to significantly increase the supply of social housing, to double the output of overall housing from the current levels to at least 25,000 per annum by 2020, to service all tenure types, and to tackle homelessness in a comprehensive manner.

This whole-of-Government Plan has been developed in close collaboration with other key Government Departments and Agencies, under the oversight of a dedicated Cabinet Committee chaired by An Taoiseach. The Plan was also informed by the Report of the Special Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness (published on 17th June), as well as through extensive consultation with stakeholders, including at two national stakeholder events hosted by both  Ministers Coveney and Damien English earlier this month.

The Plan is comprehensive and addresses all aspects of the housing system under five Pillars:

  • Address Homelessness,
  • Accelerate Social Housing,
  • Build More Homes,
  • Improve the Rental sector, and
  • Utilise Existing Housing.

 

 

 

 

 

Housing Agency Annual Conference 2016, Achieving Affordability

Housing Agency Annual Conference 2016, Achieving Affordability

26 May 2016

The Housing Agency Annual Conference recently took place in Dublin Castle. The Conference focused on ‘Achieving Affordability’ in the delivery of housing supply in Ireland. Over three sessions: past, present and future; the conference heard from prominent speakers about the challenges and opportunities for a new Government in delivering affordable, quality homes in sustainable communities. Presentations on the day were filmed and these will be uploaded in the coming days. You can view speaker presentation slides here: 

John O'Connor - Housing Agency Chief Executive Click here to view presentation


Karl Deeter - Advisors.ie Click here to view presentation


Michael Culloty - MABS Click here to view presentation


Marian Finnegan - Sherry Fitzgerald Click here to view presentation

Tom Dunne - DIT  Click Here to view presentation


Brain Moran - Hines Ireland Click here to view presentation


Dr. Michelle Norris - UCD Click here to view presentation


Prof. Paddy Gray - University of Ulster Click here to view presentation

 

 

 

 

 

Housing Agency submissions to the Oireachtas on Housing and Homelessness Committee

Housing Agency submissions to the Oireachtas on Housing and Homelessness Committee

23 May 2016

Submissions to the Oireachtas on Housing and Homelessness Committee

Housing and Homelessness Committee submission here.

Vacant Homes Paper here.

Review of the Mortgage to Rent Scheme here.

 

 

 

 

Housing Agency to hold a workshop on New Design Standards for Apartments

Housing Agency to hold a workshop on New Design Standards for Apartments

05 Feb 2016

The Housing Agency is convening a workshop to examine the details of the recently published Design Standards for New Apartments. This workshop will be held on March 1st and it will see experts from across the sector coming together to examine the implications of the guidelines.

The Housing Agency issues evidence based advice and recommendations and this workshop will contribute to the understanding of the guidelines. For more information about this please contact communications@housing.ie.

 

 

 

 

Minister Paudie Coffey published the fourth annual progress report of unfinished housing developments

Minister Paudie Coffey published the fourth annual progress report of unfinished housing development

 
16 Dec 2015

STATEMENT BY Paudie Coffey, T.D.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Co-ordination of Construction 2020

Wednesday 16th December 2015

“Reactivation of sites is increasing, minimal level of ‘unfinished’ developments remaining”

Minister for Housing, Planning and Co-ordination of Construction 2020, Paudie Coffey, TD, today published the fourth annual progress report on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments which reveals a “75% drop in the unfinished developments since 2010 from nearly 3000 to 668 and 324 developments resolved in 2015 alone”.

Minister Coffey was speaking at the launch of the report which also includes the results from the 2015 National Housing Development Survey which tracks progress on unfinished housing developments since 2010.  Among the key findings of this year’s survey are:

  • 75% decrease in the number of unfinished developments over 5 years;
  • 324 developments resolved in 2015; and
  • Reactivation of sites is now evident throughout the country.

 

 

 

 

 

Request for Submissions - Official Languages Act 2003

Request for Submissions - Official Languages Act 2003

17 Nov 2015

Request for Submissions - Official Languages Act 2003

Preparation of a Draft Language Scheme by the Housing Agency

The Housing Agency proposes to draft a language scheme in accordance with the Official Languages Act 2003. The primary objective of the Act is to ensure better availability and a higher standard of public services through Irish.

The Housing Agency invites submissions in relation to the preparation of the draft scheme from any interested parties.

Information on the Act is available on the External link Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht website.

 

 

 

 

 

Increasing Demand for Housing Requires Significant Increase in Supply of Housing

Increasing Demand for Housing Requires Significant Increase in Supply of Housing

29 Jul 2015

Increasing Demand for Housing Requires Significant Increase in Supply of Housing

The National Statement of Housing Supply and Demand 2014 and Outlook for 2015-17 finds supply and demand balance a key challenge

29 July 2015

As part of a wide suite of initiatives addressing housing supply which have been underway since the publication of Construction 2020, this Statement is the first of a series of annual reports which will inform how Ireland meets demand for housing into the future.

The Housing Agency today released its first National Statement of Housing Supply and Demand 2014, and Outlook for 2015-17.

The National Statement provides key data and analysis on the housing supply and demand trends in Ireland as well as an overview of future housing requirements. The analysis gives clear insights into housing in Ireland and presents the most up-to-date information available in relation to housing supply and demand which will keep key housing initiatives on track and ensure we have accurate data about how housing needs are being met on an annual basis. The report shows that while the housing sector is showing signs of recovery, the pace of demand is growing faster than supply.

Key findings and analysis from the first National Statement of Housing Supply and Demand include the following:

 

  • Demand for housing will continue to increase in accordance with population trends and a reduction in household sizes
  • Supply of new housing needs to increase to meet demand, with supply and demand balance a key challenge
  • Affordability is an issue for households in the greater Dublin area, renters and single person households
  • House prices have increased, particularly in the Dublin area with the median price nationally being €152,000 (up from €140,000 in 2013) and €260,000 in Dublin (up from €220,000 in 2013)
  • Rental prices have also increased, particularly for apartments, nationally rents are 6.9% higher in Q1 2015 compared with Q1 2014  (9.6% higher in Dublin and 5.3% higher outside Dublin)
  • Mortgage Arrears and Negative Equity remains a serious concern, with a total of 110,366 mortgages in arrears at the end of 2014
  • The population is at its highest in 150 years at 4.5 million people, and housing demand is high as a result

 

 

 

 

 

The National Statement of Housing Supply and Demand 2014 and Outlook for 2015 - 2017

The National Statement of Housing Supply and Demand 2014 and Outlook for 2015 - 2017

29 Jul 2015

 

Increasing Demand for Housing Requires Significant Increase in Supply of Housing

The National Statement of Housing Supply and Demand 2014 and Outlook for 2015-17 finds supply and demand balance a key challenge

As part of a wide suite of initiatives addressing housing supply which have been underway since the publication of Construction 2020, this Statement is the first of a series of annual reports which will inform how Ireland meets demand for housing into the future.

The Housing Agency today released its first National Statement of Housing Supply and Demand 2014, and Outlook for 2015-17.

The National Statement provides key data and analysis on the housing supply and demand trends in Ireland as well as an overview of future housing requirements. The analysis gives clear insights into housing in Ireland and presents the most up-to-date information available in relation to housing supply and demand which will keep key housing initiatives on track and ensure we have accurate data about how housing needs are being met on an annual basis. The report shows that while the housing sector is showing signs of recovery, the pace of demand is growing faster than supply.

Click here for full Press Release

Click here for  The National Statement on Housing Supply and Demand 2014 and Outlook 2015-2017

 

 

 

 

 

Launch of Regulation Office Annual Report 2014 and Financial Standard

Launch of Regulation Office Annual Report 2014 and Financial Standard

 
14 Jul 2015
  • New report provides full overview of the AHB sector for the first time
  • In one year 194 Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) signed up for Regulation
  • 80% of all AHB social housing stock now protected by Regulation
  • 23,831 tenants' homes protected
  • More robust Financial Regulation being introduced to enable investment and further supply of social homes.

The Regulation Office at the Housing Agency released its first Annual Report and Sectoral Analysis on the regulation of AHBs today. The Annual Report highlights the importance of regulation and explains how regulation is necessary to facilitate the delivery of more social housing. The Annual Report provides, for the first time, key data and analysis on the AHB sector operating in Ireland based on individual regulatory assessment of 142 AHBs. The analysis gives a clear picture of the AHB sector nationally, including information on housing stock, performance, governance and financial management.

Key findings from the first Annual Report and Sectoral Analysis include:

  • 80% of all AHB housing stock or 23,831 tenants' homes are now protected through Regulation
  • 194 AHBs are now signed up to  regulation
  • The Regulation Office carried out regulatory assessments on 142 organisations
  • These AHBs are performing well against the regulatory standards
  • The sectoral analysis shows that the sector is a significant employer with over 2,500 employees.
  • Significant investment has been made by the State in the sector with over €1.7 Billion provided in capital grants to the larger AHBs alone
  • A low level of debt, with larger AHBs having a debt per unit of less than €3k, together with sound operating margins of 17%, means that the sector is well positioned to leverage further private investment to supply more homes

 

 

 

 

 

Minister Kelly welcomes cut to variable mortgage rate for local authority borrowers

Minister Kelly welcomes cut to variable mortgage rate for local authority borrowers

17 Jun 2015

Minister Kelly welcomes cut to variable mortgage rate for local authority borrowers

15/06/15

Minister Kelly welcomes cut to variable mortgage rate for local authority borrowers


Mr. Alan Kelly T.D., Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, today (15 June, 2015) welcomed the 0.20% cut to the variable mortgage rate for local authority borrowers.

This latest reduction follows a decision taken by the Board of the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) on Friday (12 June) to decrease its variable mortgage interest rate charged to local authorities by 0.20%. Local authorities have been instructed by the Department of the environment, Community and Local Government to pass the reduction on directly to their borrowers.

The current variable mortgage interest rate of 2.75% is already around 1.5% lower than standard variable mortgage rate and is the lowest rate available currently in the domestic mortgage market.  This new rate cut will bring the variable mortgage interest rate charged to local authority borrowers down to 2.55% with effect from 1 July.

“I am pleased with the HFA decision to reduce its rate, and that this is being passed on in full to local authority borrowers. The reduction will have real meaning for 13,700 households with a local authority variable mortgage. The saving amounts to €17 per month on a typical mortgage of €100,000”, the Minister said.

The Minister also welcomed the HFA’s decision to reduce its non-mortgage variable lending rate by 0.25% with effect from 1 July 2015. 

“I also very much welcome the HFA’s decision to reduce its non-mortgage variable lending rate by 0.25% also from 1 July.  This rate cut will benefit local authorities who use these loans to finance local authority social housing schemes. The cut will save local authorities approximately €7.5 million per annum. This HFA move will directly assist in increasing social housing supply and achieving the delivery targets the Government has set out in  Social Housing Strategy 2020”.

 

 

 

 

 

Ministers Kelly & Coffey Announce €91 Million Housing Investment – Minister Kelly

Ministers Kelly & Coffey Announce €91 Million Housing Investment – Minister Kelly

28 May 2015

Ministers Kelly & Coffey Announce €91 Million Housing Investment – Minister Kelly

28/05/15

Investment in Refurbishing, Energy Efficiency and Housing Adaptations for Older People and People with a Disability

Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government, Alan Kelly TD and Minister of State for Housing & Planning, Paudie Coffey TD have  today (28 May, 2015) announced over €91 million worth of housing investment.

The funding will be used across a range of housing schemes to make more social housing available and to improve housing for people with disabilities, as well as retrofitting homes to improve energy efficiency.

Over 1,000 vacant social housing units will be refurbished and tenanted by people on the social housing waiting list at a cost of over €20 million countrywide. Dublin City and Cork City are receiving the largest allocations, with priority going to families facing homelessness. Funding was allocated to the local authorities with the greatest potential to deliver units quickly and address needs. Over 2,300 units were brought on stream last year with an average cost of refurbishment of €11,277.

A further €50.5 million will be made available for Housing Adaptations for Older People and People with a Disability living in private houses. . This will allow extensions to be built for people with a disability as well as housing adaptations to improve mobility aid (such as stair lifts, access ramps etc.) with more funding set to come later in the year.  A further €11 million will be made available for local authority house adaptations and extensions to meet the needs of tenants with a disability and to deal with overcrowding.

Meanwhile Minister Kelly has made available a further €20 million for the improvement of local authority houses to make them more energy efficient.  This programme continues to sustain and create jobs while making a significant contribution to Ireland’s carbon emissions reduction targets and energy reduction targets for 2020, resulting in warmer homes and lower energy bills for local authority tenants.

As part of the EU Operational Programme 2014-2020, the energy efficiency works on social housing will attract funding under the ERDF.  This will see EU co-financing of 50% of eligible public investment under these programmes.

 

 

 

 

 

Government Strengthens Framework to Support Mortgage Holders in Arrears

Government Strengthens Framework to Support Mortgage Holders in Arrears

13 May 2015

The Government has agreed a number of new measures to support mortgage holders who are in arrears.   Building on action already taken, the measures aim to increase the supports available to people in arrears and to increase the numbers of people availing of them.

In a major reform of the Personal Insolvency framework, the Government has agreed to give Courts the power to review and, where appropriate, to approve insolvency deals that have been rejected by banks.  The Government will legislate to give effect to this change before the Summer recess.  This is expected to see more cases processed to a successful outcome through the Personal Insolvency framework.   The process seeks to ensure that fair and sustainable deals are upheld for struggling borrowers willing to work their way out of difficulties with a view to keeping their family home.

Court rules and procedures will also be streamlined to guide more cases towards the Insolvency Service, building on existing measures to allow cases to be adjourned so that a defendant can engage with a Personal Insolvency Practitioner, and to assist people who are unfamiliar with Court rules and proceedings.

A number of other measures have been agreed.

The Mortgage to Rent scheme will be expanded, including in particular by increasing the property value thresholds that apply.  A number of other flexibilities will also be introduced, making the scheme more accessible.

The Government has also agreed that the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) will play a greater role in offering information, advice and assistance to borrowers in arrears.  Additional services to provide assistance in identifying the best options, completing financial statements and considering proposed solutions will be rolled out by MABS offices on a phased basis, following a process of engagement with the Citizens Information Board and MABS.  This will ensure that borrowers have access to information on the range of supports and options available, advice on the ones most suited to their needs, and assistance in pursuing such options, where necessary.  MABS will be working closely with the Insolvency Service of Ireland (ISI).

Speaking after today’s Government meeting, the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, said:
“The Government is committed to helping people in arrears to reach sustainable solutions and engagement between lenders and mortgage holders has resulted in 115,000 solutions.

“The major reforms agreed at today’s Cabinet meeting are designed to help more people to access the supports, options and solutions available and, in particular to support mortgage holders in long term arrears.  I am confident that the new powers available to the Courts will help to underpin the credibility of the Insolvency Service and encourage more deals to be reached”.

Commenting on the new Insolvency measure, the Minister for Justice and Equality, Frances Fitzgerald, said:

“ The new provision for independent review by the courts is an important reform to protect distressed mortgage-holders from any unfair lack of cooperation from their banks when it comes to seeking to agree a personal insolvency solution.
 
“This reform will provide a better balance between the interest of banks and those facing unsustainable mortgages.
 
“It will ensure that personal insolvency legislation can work as it was intended to.

I have instructed my officials to finalise the legislative provisions required so that these changes can be brought forward as amendments to the Personal Insolvency Amendment Bill 2014 which is currently awaiting Report Stage in the Dáil.”

Announcing the changes to the Mortgage-to-rent scheme, the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government said:

“I welcome all of these measures that will assist borrowers in distressed situations.

“Specifically on Mortgage-to-Rent, these new measures are designed to improve access to the scheme. The new thresholds make it more flexible and accessible.  While they represent an important development, the mortgage-to-rent scheme is designed for those who are willing to give up ownership of their home and convert it to social housing.

“The priority of Government would be that people retain full ownership of their homes. However, for those who have an unsustainable mortgage, it will provide a vital solution or option that allows people to dispose of their mortgage while still remaining in their own homes. I also look forward to seeing the bankruptcy legislation as proposed by Deputy Willie Penrose progressed to the Finance Committee in a timely fashion."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minister for Housing, Planning and Co-ordination of Construction 2020, Paudie Coffey, TD, today published the third annual progress report on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments 2014

Third annual progress report on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments

STATEMENT BY Paudie Coffey, T.D.

Minister for Housing, Planning and Co-ordination of Construction 2020

Monday 22nd December 2014

“Government is moving into the final phase of tackling unfinished housing developments”

Minister for Housing, Planning and Co-ordination of Construction 2020, Paudie Coffey, TD, today published the third annual progress report on tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments which reveals a “two thirds drop in the unfinished developments since 2010 from nearly 3000 to 992 and 271 developments resolved in 2014 alone”.

Minister Coffey was speaking at the launch of the report which also includes the results from the 2014 National Housing Development Survey which tracks progress on unfinished housing developments since 2010.  Among the key findings of this year’s survey are:

  • 65% decrease in the number of unfinished developments;
  • 81% decrease in the number of vacant homes in remaining unfinished developments;
  • 271 developments resolved in 2014; and
  • First recorded increase in construction activity on unfinished developments in four years.

Of the 992 unfinished developments identified in the 2014 survey, Minister Coffey indicated that his objective is to resolve as many more developments as possible with a particular focus on the 766 of these developments with residents.

The Minister also highlighted the impact of the Budget 2014 Special Resolution Fund under which €6.75 million has now been drawn down by local authorities benefitting many more residents. The Minister added that due to the success of the SRF in 2014:

“the momentum created in 2014 will be continued with an allocation of a further €3.35 million for 2015”.

The Minister also highlighted the completion of the Public Safety Initiative stating that:

“because applications for such funding have dwindled to a trickle, further indicating progress on this front. I intend to discontinue the scheme in 2014 as it has achieved its objectives.”

In conclusion, the Minister signalled that work in this area is reaching the final phase and he hoped that further substantial progress would be evident in the year ahead stating that:

 “my objective for 2015 is to secure the resolution of as many more developments as possible and I assure you that I will not spare any of my energy in making that aspiration a reality.”

 

 

 

 

 

Environment Minister Alan Kelly & Minister Paudie Coffey launch the Social Housing Strategy 2020

Environment Minister Alan Kelly & Minister Paudie Coffey launch the Social Housing Strategy 2020

26 Nov 2014

Ministers Kelly and Coffey launch - ‘Social Housing Strategy 2020: Support, Supply and Reform’

Download the Social Housing Strategy 2020

The Strategy commits to;
  • supplying 35,000 additional social housing units at a cost of €3.8 billion over the next 6 years;
  • Estimated 29,000 Jobs in construction and promotion of mixed-tenure developments
  • meeting the housing needs of some 75,000 households through local authority provision via the private rented sector - using Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Scheme;
  • reforming social housing delivery and management in Ireland,
  • establishing the Dublin Social Housing Delivery Taskforce,  to respond to the current supply difficulties and focus on the delivery of social housing in the Dublin area, and
  • sets out road map to accommodate everyone on the Housing Waiting Lists by 2020 (90,000 households)

The Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly T.D. together with his colleague Paudie Coffey T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government today (26 November, 2014) launched the ‘Social Housing Strategy 2020: Support, Supply and Reform’, a Government commitment under Construction 2020.

At the launch, Minister Kelly said “This six-year Social Housing Strategy sets out to fully meet this Government’s ambitious goals. In committing to provide 35,000 new social housing units at a cost of €3.8 bn, it makes a fresh start for social housing in Ireland. One of the  main priorities for this Government is to address the challenge of providing social housing for the people of this country This Strategy sets out how we will achieve this priority.   The Strategy restores the State to a central role in the provision of social housing through a resumption of direct building on a significant scale by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies. It emphasises the State’s lead role in building partnerships with other public, voluntary and private providers of housing in the development of innovative funding mechanisms that do not increase the General Government Debt. “

The Minister explained that the Social Housing Strategy will provide for a more economic, sustainable, progressive and integrated approach to social housing delivery in Ireland.  The Strategy provides the basis for an enhanced approach to social housing provision and contains clear actions to be taken to increase supply and most importantly, reduce the number of people on waiting lists. The measures in the Strategy build on and complement Budget 2015, which provided for a multi-annual approach to the provision of social housing with a considerable increase in Exchequer investment and proposals for innovative funding approaches to increase supply.

Minister of State Coffey said The Strategy builds on work initiated under Construction 2020. It will underpin a more financially sustainable and integrated Social Housing Sector which is more responsive to people’s need. It will also assist in the recovery of a strong and sustainable construction sector”.

Minister of State Coffey continued, saying that he welcomed “the road map that the strategy will accommodate the entire housing waiting list of 90,000 households, with homes in which they can raise their families, by 2020”.

The Government’s vision as outlined in the Strategy is that every household will have access to secure, good quality housing suited to their needs at an affordable price in a sustainable community and is founded on a three Pillar approach:

Pillar 1: Provision of New Social Housing Supply.

Pillar 2: Providing Housing Supports through the Private Rental Sector. 

Pillar 3: Reform Creating More Flexible and Responsive Social Housing Supports in Ireland.

The first two Pillars will address the immediate supply shortage and well as creating a sustainable approach which aims to accommodate everyone (90,000 households) on the Housing Waiting Lists by 2020. While Pillar 3 includes a range of actions to ensure that social housing supports are responsive to people’s current needs as well as to changes in their circumstances.

The Strategy is based on a multi-annual approach to delivery over two phases, with an additional cost to the Exchequer over the 6 years at an estimated €3.8bn. It will signal a movement towards ‘Off Balance Sheet Delivery Mechanisms’ based on greater use of and access to private finance.

Phase 1: Target of 18,000 additional housing units and 32,000 HAP/RAS units by end of 2017.

Phase 2: Target of 17,000 additional housing units and 43,000 HAP/RAS units by end of 2020.

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRTB reports on the Future of Private Rented Sector and Rent Stability in the Private Rented Sector

PRTB reports on the Future of Private Rented Sector and Rent Stability in the Private Rented Sector

23 Oct 2014

'Rent Stability in the Private Rental Sector’ is the first of two studies on the private rental market. The report was prepared for the Housing agency on behalf of the Private Residential Tenancies Board. The report addresses areas such as rent stability, rent supplements, taxation, and rent regulation.

Future of the Private Rented Sector: Download

Rent Stability in the Private Rented Sector: Download

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement from The Housing Agency Responding to the figures and commentary by the ESRI

Statement from The Housing Agency Responding to the figures and commentary by the ESRI

Housing Agency Summit

Housing Agency Summit To Address Need For Greater Housing Certainty

Housing and Disability Sectoral Information Session

Housing and Disability Sectoral Information Session

New Report Projects Housing Needs to 2018

A new report published today by the Housing Agency, has projected the level of housing needed across the Republic in the next five years.

Minister O’Sullivan welcomes first meeting of Interim Regulation Committee for AHBs

Interim Regulation Committee for Approved Housing Bodies

Minister O'Sullivan Publishes Report of the Review Group on the Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes

Minister O'Sullivan publishes report of the Review Group on the Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability.

Minister O'Sullivan Publishes the 2013 National Housing Survey for Unfinished Housing Developments

The Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, TD today 28th November 2013,  launched the 2013 National Housing Development Survey.

Minister O’Sullivan Publishes Comprehensive Review of Part V of the Planning & Development Act 2000 and Seeks Views On Future Direction

Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan, TD, today (30/7/2013) published a Review of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000 and seeks views for consideration by September 27th, 2013.

NAMA & Social Housing: Good Progress in First 3 Months of 2013

The first three months of 2013 saw contracts signed or transactions completed in relation to a further 110 properties made available by NAMA for social housing, including both houses and apartments. Further detail on the transactions under the initiative in the first quarter of 2013 is available at www.housing.ie/NAMA

New Housing Delivered in Moyross, Limerick

The Housing Agency was extensively involved in the first new housing project to be completed as part of the Limerick Regeneration Programme.  Keys were handed over to the tenants of Cliona Park, Moyross, Limerick on 25th February, 2013.

Community Liaison Service Sought for Sligo

The Eastern Quadrant of Sligo, which includes the Cranmore Estate, is undergoing a major programme of regeneration funded under the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government’s national regeneration programme. 

Significant Increase In Social Dividend From Nama Properties On Track For 2013

Minister for Housing Jan O’Sullivan, TD, today stated she expected a significant increase in the number of NAMA properties selected and delivered for social housing in 2013.

2012 National Housing Development Survey Launched

The 2012 National Housing Development Survey reveals steady, quantifiable progress in tackling the issue of unfinished housing developments. 

Free Independent Financial Advice for Borrowers in Mortgage Distress

The Housing Agency welcomes the announcement by Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD (6 September 2012) regarding the provision of free independent professional financial advice to borrowers in mortgage distress.

Launch of the Mortgage to Rent Scheme

Mortgage to Rent Scheme provides certainty and security for low income families

New Journal for Irish Housing Professionals

2nd May 2012 - A new journal for Irish housing professionals was launched today by Ms. Jan O’Sullivan TD, Minister of State with responsibility for Housing and Planning.

'Evaluation of the Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability.

Today, the Housing Agency published its ‘Evaluation of the Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability’.  This evaluation was requested by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government in 2010 (DEHLG) to examine the effectiveness of the new schemes and to make recommendations for any necessary improvements.