Minister Damien English approves funding of €100k for Approved Housing Bodies
Minister Damien English, T.D., Minister of State for Housing and Urban Renewal today, 15 May 2017, announced the approval of over €100,000 in funding for four Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) under the Innovation Fund. This Fund was established, in line with the commitment made in Rebuilding Ireland, to provide AHBs with the means to test innovative ideas on new funding structures and to build capacity.
The four eligible proposals received were submitted by the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH), Clúid, Oaklee and Túath Housing.
- The ICSH have established a sector-led financial vehicle to allow AHBs to expand and to facilitate the delivery of additional housing units.
- Clúid are developing a set of procedures, guidelines and templates for mergers and acquisitions.
- Oaklee are working on securing off-balance sheet funding.
- Túath have engaged with external experts to undertake research on two schemes relating to affordable rental.
Announcing the approval of these proposals, Minister English said, ‘the Department of Housing has an important role in facilitating AHBs in their work. This complements activities that are already underway within the AHB sector to facilitate collaboration within the sector.’ The total amount of funding that will be granted through the Innovation Fund is €104,043.50.
Notes for Editors:
The Government has committed to a range of structural, funding and policy supports to increase delivery by AHBs under Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.
Under Pillar 2: Accelerate Social Housing, Action 2.13 undertakes to introduce an Innovation Fund by Q1 2017 to support the development by AHBs of innovative financial models to further enhance the contribution of the sector to the delivery of additional social housing and maximise the opportunity to leverage off-balance sheet funding opportunities. (Off-balance sheet funding is non-exchequer funding – funding that might come from third parties such as the European Investment Bank, for example).
On 15th April 2016, the Rental Market and AHB Regulation unit within the Department of Housing established an Innovation Fund to support Tier 3 AHBs to build capacity within the sector. €300,000 is being provided from the Department’s Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP).