Acknowledging that renters in Dublin and other major urban centres are currently facing significant access and affordability challenges, the Government is committed to the introduction of a not-for-profit, cost rental sector in Ireland. Together with delivering more affordable and predictable rents, cost rental can make a sustainable impact on national competitiveness and the attractiveness of our main urban centres as places to live and work.
To support the introduction of affordable housing, including cost rental, the Government has made €310m available to local authorities to fund facilitating infrastructure, under the Serviced Sites Fund, over the next three years.
Two path-finder cost rental projects are currently being progressed. Firstly, the Housing Agency, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and two Approved Housing Bodies (Respond and Túath) are working on a project at the Enniskerry Road, Dublin, which will deliver 50 cost rental homes. This project is providing very valuable learning and is helping to shape the contractual model and specifications for future larger-scale projects. Planning permission is currently in place and tenders have been assessed. An application submitted by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for funding under the Serviced Sites Fund last year in relation to the project was successful. It is anticipated that construction will commence on this project in the second quarter of 2019.
The second project, St. Michael’s Estate, Emmet Road in Inchicore, is estimated to have the potential to accommodate circa. 470 homes in a high quality development. The current tenure mix as agreed with by my Department is 30% Social and 70% Cost Rental. It is expected that the procurement process for the design team will get underway in Q2 2019.
It is estimated by the National Development Finance Agency that rents of between 15-25% below market are achievable. The new apartment guidelines were applied to all units. The European Investment Bank is also working on this project in terms of financial and advisory services.