Two ‘pathfinder’ cost rental pilot projects are currently being progressed. The first, at Enniskerry Road in Stepaside, will deliver 155 homes, 50 of which will be cost rental. The cost-rental element of the project is being supported by €4.5m in funding under the Serviced Sites Fund. Construction is due to commence on the project later this month.
Further work is underway in relation to the second project, which is located at St. Michael’s Estate, Emmet Road in Inchicore, which is estimated to have the potential to accommodate approximately 470 homes in total, some 350 of which will be cost rental homes. Dublin City Council is continuing to work on its plan for this site and has appointed a dedicated project manager and a team to advance the development. Professional advisers have also been engaged to assist with the preparation of an Urban Design Framework Plan.
These Cost Rental pilots will act as the first examples of how this model can work in an Irish context. They will provide very valuable lessons for the design of a wider policy framework, and will help to shape the contractual model and specifications for future larger-scale projects. Officials from my Department are currently developing the policy framework for this broader cost rental model, in conjunction with the Land Development Agency, the Housing Agency, and other bodies, with a view to progressing further sites to the development stage. The policy framework will also benefit from input from the European Investment Bank, with which my Department has recently concluded an agreement for advisory services, drawing on the EIB's cost rental experience in other countries.