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Minister Murphy welcomes redevelopment proposals of Council lands at Emmet Road for a mixed tenure of Cost Rental and Social Housing

Published on Monday, 23 Jul 2018
Minister Eoghan Murphy

Lord Mayor of Dublin Nial Ring and Eoghan Murphy, TD, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government today (23rd July) announced that a Dublin City Council-owned site at Emmet Road in Inchicore, has been selected as the location for Dublin’s first major Cost Rental development.

The Chief Executive of Dublin City Council, Owen Keegan has welcomed plans for the council to lead out on the development.  It is expected that the detailed proposal for the site will be brought before the Council in September for approval.  It is envisaged that delivery will be overseen by a dedicated project team put in place by Dublin City Council, and that construction will follow a competitive tender process aimed at securing an innovative and integrated design as well as value for money.  The entire development will be managed as a single integrated community, by a professional estate management company, which will also be competitively procured by the Council.

Based on the most recent modelling analysis, it is estimated that the site can accommodate over 470 homes in a high quality development.  While the final tenure mix will be decided by the Council and informed by the detailed site development process, it will include 140 social housing homes, with the remaining 330 homes predominantly provided under Cost Rental.  While the level of social housing is fully committed, the model allows for some level of interchange between Cost Rental and private homes.  As part of the broader development, a new library and other community facilities are also planned.

The plan for the site takes account of the need to link the new development with adjoining communities and key local landmarks such as Richmond Barracks and the Goldenbridge Cemetery. The new development will also link seamlessly with the adjacent canal and Luas line to one end and with Emmet Road and Inchicore village to the other.  The location in Dublin 8 is very close to Dublin City Centre with good access to public transport, amenity areas and centres of significant employment, such as the new National Children’s Hospital at St. James’s.

The concept of Cost Rental, a not for profit rental mechanism separate to social housing, is new to Ireland.  However, Cost Rental forms a key part of some of the most successful housing systems in cities such as Vienna.  The rents are based on covering costs such as construction, debt financing, management and maintenance and incorporating a sinking fund.

Lord Mayor of Dublin, Nial Ring said,

“I welcome the proposal to develop the Emmet Road lands for mixed income housing and community facilities.  The City Council is acutely aware of the pressures in the city's residential property market and the need for new models of housing delivery for all its citizens.”

Minister Murphy stated,

“I signalled my intent early into my tenure as Housing Minister, to do something for those most affected by the housing affordability gap that has emerged from the lost decade of little or no supply of new homes and rising demand as more people return to work, start families and so on.  In that regard, low and moderate-income renters in Dublin and other cities in Ireland often face particular housing affordability challenges, and the Government is committed to addressing this supply gap as part of its package of affordability measures.  Cost Rental could be a game-changer for the rental market, as it has been in many other cities we have looked at. Taking profit, land, and other costs out of the equation and securing competitive EIB financing means that much more affordable rent can be achieved on publicly-owned lands.  I am determined to see this major project delivered and for more to follow on other key State sites.  I want to thank Dublin City Council for embracing this project; I also want to thank the National Development Finance Agency for their invaluable advice and assistance and the Housing Agency for its support and advice to my own Department and the Council.  Finally, I would like to recognise the support that the EIB has given us in bringing forward this new type of housing in Ireland benefiting from its international experience.”

The final rents will be set after all associated costs are determined - following on from the competitive construction and management tender processes - it is expected that the Cost Rental Scheme should be able to deliver rents of between of 15% to 25% below the market rate. The scheme will be aimed at households earning low to moderate incomes of max - €50,000 (single income) to €75,000 (dual income).

The Minister went on to say,

“Cost Rental is a major Government priority and it has cross-party support of Oireachtas members.  More broadly, from my engagement with many of the local groups here today and others, I believe that there is significant stakeholder support for Cost Rental across the broad spectrum of political, academic, community and trade union groups.  It can contribute to maintaining competitiveness and attracting people to live, as well as work, in thriving cities like Dublin.  I have met with almost all groups that have an interest in the Emmet Road site and in creating a new and exciting future for Inchicore as a whole.  Together, we will deliver a top class housing development and a new community in the heart of Dublin 8.  It will take time to build a Cost Rental sector but we need to start, and we are doing that here.”

Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank said,

“New investment in social and affordable housing is crucial to strengthening the competitiveness of the Irish economy and the European Investment Bank is pleased to share technical experience from elsewhere in Europe to support development of the cost rental model in Ireland.  Over the last decade we have provided more than EUR 11 billion for social and affordable housing across Europe and in the last five years the EIB has provided EUR 350 million for investment by Approved Housing Bodies across Ireland in cooperation with the Housing Finance Agency.  This new initiative is a key step to ensure future EIB backing for affordable housing investment in the country, that builds on broader support for the housing sector.”

ENDS

Note for Editors:

Cost Rental overview

  • Cost Rental is a not-for-profit housing tenure, very common in some housing systems around Europe, such as in Vienna.  The provision of housing is not based on securing market returns but rather rents which are based on the cost of providing, financing, building, and maintaining it.
  • The rent paid covers the construction costs of building the property, together with on-going management and maintenance charges and a sinking fund but with a minimal profit margin included.
  • It allows for the provision of rental accommodation that is much less affected by market fluctuations, with rent increases capable of being managed by not for profit bodies.
  • Over time, as the stock of Cost Rental increases and costs are washed through, there is more flexibility on the overall rental yield required.

National Cost Rental Scheme

  • The National Planning Framework states that Ireland will need to provide over 500,000 new homes to accommodate our growing population and workforce.  And having regard to still-rising market rent and house prices and the need for more affordable and sustainable rental supply, particularly in our cities and urban areas, the intention is that Cost Rental apartment developments will make up a significant part of that.
  • There is currently a very advanced pilot project on Enniskerry Road, Dundrum (50 affordable units and 100 social housing homes on the site). The Housing Agency is leading the project, with DLRCC, and this work has informed the modelling on Emmet Road.
  • In terms of the detailed operational scheme covering issues such as eligibility, allocation, rent management etc. a draft Cost Rental Scheme is being developed by the Department and the Housing Agency, and is close to finalisation.  The Scheme has been informed by the modelling process on Emmet Road and Enniskerry Road.

Emmet Road Scheme overview

  • Emmet Road is one of three development sites that Dublin City Council is developing under its Housing Land Initiative (HLI).  The other two sites are at O’Devaney Gardens and at Oscar Traynor Road in Coolock.
  • The original Dublin City Council proposal for this site was for 420 units, and provided for a 50: 30: 20 tenure split (private, social, and affordable respectively).
  • Located in Dublin 8, beside the canal and at two Luas stops, it is also very near the new Children’s Hospital site at St. James’s and is a short distance from the city-centre.  It is three Luas stops from the new National Children’s Hospital and nine stops from Jervis St.
  • The Department, working with Dublin City Council, National Development Finance Agency, the Housing Finance Agency and the European Investment Bank has carried out detailed modelling of this prime Dublin City Council site for potential as a Cost Rental project.  The financial and economic model are commercially sensitive and confidential.
  • The Minister has met with a broad range of local stakeholders and community groups.
  • Delivery will be overseen by a dedicated project management team procured by Dublin City Council and the entire development will be managed by a professional estate management entity again competitively procured by the Council.
  • Dublin City Council has done a lot of work with the local community and other stakeholders in the area and will establish a Special Community Consultative Forum for this major project.