The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has signed an Order commencing sections of the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019 which will provide the Approved Housing Bodies Regulatory Authority (AHBRA) with further powers and functions.
From 1st January 2022, AHBRA will have responsibility for establishing and maintaining the register of AHBs and for registering organisations as AHBs. All AHBs currently on the Department’s register will be automatically deemed to be registered with AHBRA as and from 1st January 2022.
Minister O’Brien commented, “AHBRA is an important element in support of our ambitious housing agenda, overseeing the effective governance, financial management and performance of all AHBs. AHBs make a vital contribution to the delivery of social housing across the country. Statutory regulation will provide further assurances to tenants, the public and potential investors that AHBs operate in a secure environment. I am pleased that AHBRA will shortly have these functions.”
New organisations wishing to register as AHBs should contact AHBRA directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
The AHBRA was formally established on 1 February 2021. A number of key provisions were commenced throughout 2021 to allow AHBRA to work towards becoming operational.
As set out in the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019, the functions of the Regulator shall be to:
(a) Establish and maintain a register of AHBs.
(b) Register persons as AHBs.
(c) Prepare draft standards for approval by the Minister under section 37 and publish the approved standards.
(d) Monitor and assess compliance by AHBs with this Act, in particular the approved standards.
(e) Carry out investigations under Part 5.
(f) Under Part 6, protect tenants and AHBs and cancel the registration of AHBs.
(g) Encourage and facilitate the better governance, administration and management, including corporate governance and financial management, of AHBs by the provision of such information and advice, in such form and manner, as the Regulator considers appropriate.
(h) With a view to promoting awareness and understanding of this Act, make available such information as appears to the Regulator to be expedient to give to the public about the operation of this Act, in such form and manner, as the Regulator considers appropriate.
(i) Collect such information concerning AHBs as the Regulator considers necessary and appropriate for the purposes of the performance of the Regulator’s functions.
(j) Publish such information (including statistical information) concerning AHBs as the Regulator considers appropriate.