My Department introduced the Enhanced Long Term Social Housing Leasing Scheme in order to target newly built or yet to be built houses and apartments for long term leasing, and to target property developers and investors who are in a position to deliver housing at a reasonable scale in order to supplement delivery under Pillar 2 of Rebuilding Ireland. The Enhanced Leasing Scheme places a significant additional obligation on the lessor with respect to the ongoing management and maintenance of the properties under contract, work that would normally be carried out by the Local Authority on its own stock. This includes day to day maintenance, cyclical maintenance and all the associated operational risks, in addition to the initial construction risks carried by the lessor. In exchange, the lessor receives up to 95% of the open market rent.
The first call for proposals for the Enhanced Leasing Scheme was open from January to April 2018 and a total of 33 submissions were received. The second call for proposals closed on 25th October 2018 and a total of 22 submissions were received.
The first Agreement for Lease was signed in Q2 2019 for 23 new social housing homes, with expected delivery in 2020. The first homes delivered under the Enhanced Leasing Scheme were delivered in Q4 2019, bringing the total to 113 homes. No payments were made by my Department for these units in 2019 but the estimated average annual lease cost for 2020 for these 113 units is €22,221. Delivery to date has been concentrated in the Dublin area; as the scheme matures, it is expected that more units will be delivered in other locations and, accordingly, the average cost will be reduced.