Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (120)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

120. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position regarding entry level rents for cost rental projects (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16412/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

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 will make a sustainable impact on national competitiveness and the attractiveness of our main urban centres as places to live and work.

Cost rental is new to Ireland and in order to drive delivery, two early mover pilot projects are being advanced, one at Enniskerry Road, in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, and the other at Emmet Road in Inchicore.

The Housing Agency, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) and two Approved Housing Bodies (Respond and Túath) are working on the project at Enniskerry Road, which will deliver 50 cost rental homes and 105 social housing homes. This project is providing very valuable lessons and is helping to shape the model and specifications for future larger-scale projects. Tenders for the project have been assessed and contractors are expected to be on site later in Q2 2019. 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 and some €4m in grant assistance will be provided.

With regard to the Emmet Road site, while this project is at an earlier stage of development, it is envisaged that the final tenure-mix, which will be decided by Dublin City Council, will likely include 140 social housing homes, with the remaining 330 homes predominantly provided under cost rental arrangements. The City Council has appointed a dedicated project manager and a team to drive the project forward and an Urban Design Development Framework Plan will be prepared. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is also providing financial and advisory services on this project.

Shanganagh Castle is an excellent site and DLRCC is continuing to engage with all relevant parties to progress the development of this site, including with my Department, the Housing Agency, the Land Development Agency and the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA). I am advised that the Integrated Design Team is making good progress on developing a Masterplan, including an Infrastructural Masterplan for the site. DLRCC is also engaging with the Land Development Agency (LDA) to explore options for the affordable element, with the intention to submit a formal application to my Department under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF). The exact mix of housing, however, is ultimately a matter for the local authority.

Under the cost rental model, minimising retained earnings, land and other delivery costs, while securing very competitive EIB financing, means that affordable rents can be achieved. The final rents, for any given project, will be set after all associated costs are determined, following on from the competitive construction and management tender processes. I expect that the cost rental schemes should be able to deliver rents of between of 10% to 25% below the market rate.

Question No. 121 answered with Question No. 81.