The Housing Alliance has welcomed commitments in the Programme for Government, aimed at increasing the supply of affordable rental housing and making it easier for Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) to access private finance to develop and manage housing schemes.

The draft Programme for Government, which was agreed by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and The Green Party on 15 June, outlines a key role for AHBs in the delivery of social and affordable rental housing.

Declan Dunne, Chair of the Housing Alliance (a collaboration of six of Ireland’s largest AHBs) welcomed the commitment to increase the supply of affordable housing, including affordable rental housing. “The draft Programme for Government commits to affordable, high quality housing and promises to develop a cost rental model to create affordable, sustainable options for those living in rented accommodation on a long-term basis,” he said.

Declan Dunne, Chair of the Housing Alliance (centre) pictured with representatives from six of Ireland’s largest AHBs.

“AHBs have a key role to play in the development and delivery of such a scheme, drawing on our decades of experience in delivering quality and tailored social housing. We’ve the proven track record, expertise and capacity to build and manage social and affordable homes.”

He added that the Housing Alliance also welcomes the strategic role outlined for the Land Development Agency, which will ensure that control of social and affordable housing remains with local authorities and AHBs. “We look forward to continuing our work alongside local authorities and the new Land Development Agency to ensure Ireland develops a high-quality and effective affordable rental scheme.

“We are extremely encouraged by the commitment to ensuring AHBs will be moved off the State’s balance sheet. Over the coming months, we look forward to working with Government, on a time-lined action plan to restore AHBs to our former off-balance sheet classification, like the majority of housing associations across Europe.