Respond welcome commitment in Budget 2022 to deliver social and cost rental homes
Adding to the national housing stock is vital to these commitments
12th October 2021: Respond, an Approved Housing Body and service provider, welcomed today’s Budget 2022 measures addressing housing and Early Years and School Age Care. The organisation said it is positive to see the Government commitment to a multi annual capital investment budget under Housing for All, the Government’s new housing strategy launched on September 2021.
Niamh Randall, Head of Advocacy and Communications, reacting to initial announcements, welcomed the overall housing package with investment of €6bn to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with 2.5bn of this being capital funding for housing alone.
“Respond welcome the commitment to deliver more homes; specifically more social and cost rental homes. We are keen to continue playing our part in delivering social and cost rental homes for individual and families who urgently need them, working with our partners in the Department of Housing, the Housing Finance Agency and Local Authorities. It is very welcome to see the focus on new builds, adding to existing housing stock, which is a key objective for Respond. Respond currently have 1,602 in construction around the country. We look forward to more details and hope for a defined capital budget on a multiannual basis to facilitate a sustained delivery programme by Approved Housing Bodies like Respond.”
“The inclusion of the cost rental measures is a significant development that offers an alternative rental option, allowing for greater housing affordability and choice. This affordable rental option provides for people who do not qualify for social housing but may not be able to afford to purchase their own home. Some of these people are struggling to keep a roof over their heads in the private rental sector so the cost rental measures will make a real difference. We have been advocating for years for a sustainable and replicable model to deliver affordable rental homes, which we believe could be transformative. We are delighted to be involved in four of the pilot cost rental schemes in the state, including the first purpose built cost rental homes in the State at Enniskerry Road, Dublin and look forward to further implementation of this measure.”
“We understand a five year timeline has been committed to for the phasing out of private sector leasing. This should be kept under review with the option to accelerate the timeline if it continues to add to the cost of land and construction. It is a long and strongly held view of Respond that private sector leasing is not value for money for the state and it does not provide tenants with lifetime homes.”
“The commitment to a progressive national retrofitting programme is welcome and will allow for upgrades of older housing stock. We look forward to more detail on these announcements and implications for Approved Housing Bodies.”
“We also look forward to hearing more details about the Mica redress scheme. It is vital that Approved Housing Bodies are included in any such scheme.”
Early Years and School Age Care
Niamh Randall, Head of Advocacy and Communications said the reforms announced for the childcare sector were also welcome.
“As the provider of 17 Early Years and School Aged Care services, Respond welcome the focus on the sector and the recognition that it needs reform to ensure that there are more options for parents, community service providers and a more viable career path for people working within the sector.”
Contact: Helen McCormack, Communications Manager, Respond, 087 104 7793
Respond, an Approved Housing Body and service provider, has been working all around Ireland for 39 years. Our vision is that every family and individual in Ireland will have high‐quality housing as part of a vibrant and caring community. Housing and decent accommodation, in the areas where people want to live, are central to improving people’s lives and enhancing the health and well‐being of society.
Approximately 12,065 tenants live in 4,834 homes across the 26 counties that we either own or manage; of these, there are 4,580 Respond social housing tenancies. Respond also provide a range of services for families and individuals within our communities. This includes emergency accommodation with 24/7 support for families who are homeless in six Family Homeless Services, three Day Care Services for Older People, 17 Early Childhood Care and Education, Family Support and Refugee Resettlement services. Our aim is to provide person centred services to support people to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.
.About Approved Housing Bodies
Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are not-for-profit organisations that have a social purpose to provide for people’s housing needs by working in close co-operation with the Government, local authorities and relevant agencies.
Ennsikerry Road Pathfinder Project
The Enniskerry Road Pathfinder Project provides for 155 social and affordable homes which are being delivered by Respond and Tuath Housing Associations in partnership with Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council on land provided by the Housing Agency under the Land Aggregation Scheme. This first Cost Rental pilot project is the result of an innovative collaboration between Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the Housing Agency, the Housing Finance Agency, the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Respond and Tuath Housing Associations. Located at Enniskerry Road, Stepaside, Dublin 18 the site is near to a wide range of amenities, public facilities, schools, health services, local community and sports groups. Enniskerry Road provides access to the LUAS Green Line, the 47 bus route, and the M50 motorway.
The project includes 50 Cost Rental homes and 105 social homes to be apportioned between Respond (78 homes including 25 Cost Rental) and Tuath (77 homes including 25 Cost Rental). The homes will be a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom properties. All of the 50 Cost Rental homes will be 2-bedroom apartments.