Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Ceisteanna (1578, 1579)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

1578. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the estimated average all-in cost of an affordable home for rent. [19674/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

1579. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the estimated average all-in cost of affordable homes based on a model (details supplied). [19675/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1578 and 1579 together.

The Government has committed €310 million over the three year period 2019 to 2021 under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF). The objective of the SSF is to support local authorities in the provision of key enabling infrastructure on public lands, to get the sites ready for the delivery of affordable housing for both purchase and rent. A maximum amount of SSF funding of €50,000 will be made available per affordable home. On this basis, at least 6,200 affordable homes can be facilitated by this measure alone.

On 11 December 2018, I approved in principle an initial 10 projects that were submitted under the first call of the SSF, with funding of €43 million to be allocated. These projects will have the potential to deliver approximately 1,400 affordable homes from 2020 onwards. The overall cost and the timing of delivery for these projects is contingent upon the completion of planning and procurement in the first instance, and local authorities are working to achieve delivery as quickly as possible. I issued a second call for proposals under the SSF on 9 April 2019.

In relation to the Deputy's query, Ó’Cualann Co-Housing Alliance is a co-operative housing alliance with Approved Housing Body Status. The inaugural O'Cualann project in Poppintree, Ballymun, Dublin, involved Dublin City Council, AIB and industry professionals and comprised 49 A2 rated 2-bed, 3-bed and 4-bed homes with sales prices ranging from €140,000 to €220,000. The development was in two phases; phase 1 comprised of 17 houses and is completed and the units are occupied and phase 2 comprises 32 houses, 11 houses of which were completed in August 2018. My understanding is that in order for Ó Cualann Co-Housing Alliance to be in a position to provide homes within this price range, Dublin City Council provided fully serviced sites at a nominal cost of €1,000 per unit, as well as waiving development contributions and planning fees. Taking the foregoing into account, the total investment by Dublin City Council approximates to €58,000 per house.

More broadly, in terms of Cost Rental, two pilot projects are currently being progressed. Firstly, a development at the Enniskerry Road, Dublin, which will deliver 50 cost rental homes, is being delivered by the Housing Agency, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and two Approved Housing Bodies (Respond and Túath). Planning permission for the Enniskerry Road development is currently in place. An application submitted by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council for Serviced Sites Fund grant funding for this project has also been successful. Tenders for the project have been assessed and the contract is due to be awarded shortly, with construction expected to commence by the end of this month.

A second project, in 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 my Department is 30% social and 70% cost rental. Initial estimates of the St. Michael’s project by the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) indicated that rents of between 15-25% below market are achievable. The European Investment Bank is also working on this project in terms of financial and advisory services.

These projects will provide very valuable lessons for the development of a national cost rental approach in Ireland and will help to shape the contractual model and specifications for future larger-scale projects.