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Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs)

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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 AHB Policy and Regulation Section, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Newtown Road, Wexford, Y35 AP90 or via email to ahb@housing.gov.ie

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.

How does a housing body rescind approved status?

Section 6 (6) (e) of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1992 empowers the Minister to withdraw approved status. 

AHBs wishing to apply to the Minister to rescind their status should note the following considerations: 

  • If your organisation has property with active social housing tenancies or is in receipt of assistance from a local authority in accordance with Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 then it will not be possible to rescind approved status until such time as these properties are transferred to an appropriate body. Please contact the Department if you require further information in this regard. 
  • If approved status is rescinded, then the organisation will no longer be eligible for assistance in accordance with Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992.  
  • It is important to note that if status is rescinded, the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019 allows for an organisation to apply for AHB status, should the need arise, in the future, subject to eligibility criteria 

If you wish to apply to rescind AHB status please complete the application form and return, with supporting information as outlined in the application, to:-

AHB Policy and Regulation Section,
Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage,
Newtown Road,
Wexford,
Y35 AP90 

or by email to ahb@housing.gov.ie 

The Department’s priority in rescinding AHB Status is to safeguard the interests of tenants and state investment in social housing provision. Accordingly, the information provided may be cross checked with data held by this Department and any relevant local authorities. The Department may also contact you in respect of the information provided in the application form and will endeavour to communicate the status of your request at the earliest opportunity.

How personal data will be processed when submitted to the Department under Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992

The Department is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This privacy statement explains how the Department, as the Data Controller, will process the personal data provided to it in accordance with Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992, how that information will be used, and what rights you may exercise in relation to your personal data.

What bodies are registered as Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs)?

The Register of Approved Housing Bodies provides the name and address of all bodies currently approved under section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992

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Data Protection

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage requires customers to provide certain personal data in order to carry out our legislative and administrative functions. The Department will treat all information and personal data that you provide as confidential, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection legislation. Personal data may be exchanged with other Government Departments, local authorities, agencies under the aegis of the Department, or other public bodies, in certain circumstances where this is provided for by law. 

The Department's Data Protection Policy and Privacy Statements, which set out how we will use your personal data, as well as providing information regarding your rights as a data subject, are available on the Department’s website.  They are also available in hard copy upon request from the Data Protection Officer, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Newtown Road, Wexford, email data.protection@housing.gov.ie.