Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs)
What are Approved Housing Bodies?
Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) (also called housing associations or voluntary housing associations) are independent, not-for-profit organisations. They provide affordable rented housing for people who cannot afford to pay private sector rents or buy their own homes; or for particular groups, such as older people or homeless people.
AHBs also include housing co-operatives, which are housing organisations controlled by their members/tenants who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions.
Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1992 enables housing authorities, among other things, to provide assistance to AHBs for the provision of housing. Section 6 (6) of the Act empowers the Minister to grant approved status for this purpose.
How does a housing body get approved status?
Applications for approved status should be made to Rental Market & AHB Regulation Section, Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Newtown Road, Wexford, Y35 AP90 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Who may be considered for approval?
Applications for approved status will be considered from the following:
- Limited Companies formed by guarantee of their members and not having a shareholding, registered under the Companies Act 2014;
- Societies registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Acts, 1893 – 2014;
- Trusts incorporated under the Charities Acts.
A body seeking to obtain, and to retain, approved status must:
- have as its goal, the relief of housing needs, to assist with cases of poverty or hardship, including the welfare of Travellers, and the delivery and management of housing;
- have in its Memorandum and Articles of Association or registered rules, provisions preventing the distribution of any surplus, profit, bonus or dividend to its members;
- ensure that its assets are applied solely towards its objects.
What should accompany an application for approved status?
Applications must be supported by:
- the Memorandum and Articles of Association, rules or constitution of the body seeking approval, together with a copy of its certificate of incorporation or registration;
- the names and address of its officers and of all the members of its governing body or board of directors or trustees, the address of its registered office and the address of the secretary, if different from the registered office;
- a description of its existing and/or proposed activities, plans or programmes;
- a written statement from both the relevant Local Authority and the ICSH or Co-operative Housing Ireland to confirm that the ‘new’ body – if given AHB status – would be meeting a need that is not already being addressed by any extant AHB or have the potential to deliver on a scale that is not currently being achieved by an extant AHB;
- information on its current financial position, including latest statements of audited accounts, if available;
- a signed Charter of Commitments under the Voluntary Regulation Code.