Housing News

Cork’s First Cost Rental Homes Announced

Clúid Housing has announced the construction of Cork’s first Cost Rental Homes. In partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Clúid Housing will deliver a mix tenure development of cost rental and social homes on the Lancaster Gate site.

The 88 new apartments will consist of 73 cost rental homes. When complete, the scheme will be a mixed tenure community of one-, two-, and three-bedroom properties. Under the Government’s Cost Rental Scheme, cost rents must be a minimum of 25% below open market values. Monthly rent for Clúid’s Lancaster Gate, Lancaster Quay homes will start at €990 per month – circa 45% below local market rates.

The announcement follows on from Clúid’s recent cost rental launch, the State’s first, in Taylor Hill, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin. These 25 cost rental homes received over 1000 applications and are now in the process of being let.

390 Cost Rental Homes
Under Housing for All, a key commitment in the Programme for Government, approved housing bodies (AHBs) have been tasked with delivering approximately 390 pilot cost rental homes. This forms part of the Government’s Affordable Housing Bill 2021, currently passing through the Oireachtas. The Cost Rental Scheme will enable Clúid to set rents for its Lancaster Gate scheme at the below monthly rates:

• 1 bed apartment – €990 per calendar month
• 2 bed apartment – €1100 per calendar month

Lancaster Gate is being delivered in partnership with O’Callaghan Properties, one of Ireland’s longest established property development and investment companies. When complete, the Building Energy Rating (BER) will be A2.

Eligibility for Cost Rental Homes
The new homes are located in Cork City Centre in close proximity to all social, educational, commercial, transport and recreational amenities. The properties will be semi-furnished with white goods and flooring supplied. To apply for the cost rental homes, applicants will be obliged to provide evidence of the following eligibility criteria:

• Not in receipt of any social housing supports
• Do not own a property
• Household size matches the size of the property advertised
• Applicants can afford to pay the cost rent for the home
• Net household income to be below an as yet to be defined annual figure
• Household has only entered one application for a specific cost rental property*

Should more applications be received than properties available, completed applications will be selected at random. The random selection system is automated and auditable to ensure a fair application process for all.

Financing of Up to €100m
One of three AHBs selected (along with Respond and Tuath), Clúid was chosen to deliver the first cost rental homes as part of a competitive assessment process. In total, the three organisations will deliver 390 cost rental homes across the country with an additional 50 homes already nearing completion. The Cost Rental Scheme is administered by the Housing Agency, on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Housing Agency will oversee the administration of the loan arrangements including the drafting of the agreement for the Cost Rental Equity Loan (CREL) to fund the purchase of each property. The Housing Finance Agency (HFA) has also made financing of up to €100m available to support the delivery of cost rental homes.

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD commented, “cost rental is an exciting new form of tenure in Ireland. We are committed to helping people on moderate incomes to access affordable, secure tenancies in homes that suit their needs. Cost rents are based solely on the cost of delivering, managing, and maintaining the apartments themselves.”

“We are delighted to see this scheme of 88 new homes get underway in the heart of Cork City. When complete, this new development will be a wonderful example of a mixed tenure community with fantastic links to the existing community in the city.”

Brian O’Gorman, CEO of Clúid Housing commented, “our vision is ‘a society where everyone has a great place to live’. Supporting the creation of mixed tenure communities, like Lancaster Gate here in Cork, brings us a step closer to that vision. We pride ourselves on being an innovative organisation and we are delighted to support the Government’s ambitious Cost Rental Scheme in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Housing Agency, the Housing Finance Agency, Cork City Council and O’Callaghan Properties.”

“Along with our partners, we are delighted to announce the construction of Cork City’s first cost rental homes. These new homes will provide excellent quality, long term secure rental options for middle income households and those struggling to rent on the open market. The security of tenure and affordable rent offered here will have a significant impact on how we think about renting in Ireland.”

“Clúid has an ambitious growth strategy to deliver an additional 3,000 new social and cost rental homes before the end of 2022. We are hopeful the success of these first cost rental homes will lead to longer term commitments from Government on the future of the Cost Rental Scheme.”

John O’Connor, Chief Executive Officer of The Housing Agency, said, “we are pleased to see important progress in the delivery of cost rental homes. The Housing Agency is delighted to be working on the delivery of homes with rents that are more affordable and provide long-term security.”

“The Housing Agency is providing secondary loans to approved housing bodies, such as Clúid Housing, to deliver cost rental homes. The Agency looks forward to the delivery of the remaining cost rental homes that were approved by the Minister earlier this year.”

Brian Geaney, Assistant Chief Executive, Cork City Council commented, “Cork City Council is determined that people with moderate incomes living and working in the City can access accommodation at affordable rents. Cost rental is an important element of the range of housing solutions being rolled out across the City to deal with the demand in a growing City. The City Council has been supportive of this initiative from the outset, and I take this opportunity to congratulate both Clúid and O’ Callaghan Properties on this exciting project which ticks all the right boxes for Cork City”.

Source: Clúid Housing

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