The Land Development Agency (LDA) is committed to meeting the need for affordable homes for purchase and rent across Ireland. The Affordable Living programme was launched in October 2022 aiming to meet this need by providing homes for both purchase and rent, which is a core objective of the Agency.
In line with Housing for All and Project Tosaigh, the LDA has launched two key programmes on affordable homes and cost rental accommodation. Project Tosaigh was announced last year in the Government’s housing strategy, Housing for All, to unlock land in private ownership that has planning permission but where delivery has stalled due to financing and other constraints. A first phase of expressions of interest process was launched at the end of 2021, and phase two launched at the end of 2022. The developments in this first phase are well-spread regionally, in Dublin, Cork, Waterford, Wicklow, Meath, and Kildare, in which the LDA expects to deliver 5,000 homes across a multi-phase process, in addition to the 6,000 the LDA has planned for delivery from its existing portfolio of state lands. A further 10,000 to 15,000 homes are anticipated after 2026 from the transfer of additional state lands announced in Housing for All in September 2022. The present pipeline of projects is anticipated to deliver circa 1,000 affordable for sale and cost rental homes over the next two years, with some already delivered. Additional phases of Project Tosaigh will be launched periodically and will layer similar tranches of delivery on a consistent basis. This is in addition to direct delivery by the LDA on state lands.
What is cost rental?
Cost rental is a new housing tenure that was created under the Affordable Housing Act 2021. It is a new rental tenure which offers a long-term, secure rental option that will contribute to the development of a sustainable housing market in Ireland which provides choice across all tenures. The rent on these units is based on the cost of building, managing, and maintaining the homes. Under Housing for All, the LDA is one of the State’s primary channels for the development of cost rental housing.
Terms and conditions for cost rental housing in Ireland are set out in the Affordable Housing Act 2021.
To be eligible for consideration for cost rental housing, tenants must meet the following criteria:
- net household income is below €53,000 per annum;
- they can afford to pay the cost rent for the home;
- they are not in receipt of any social housing supports (including rent supplement or HAP);
- they do not own a property;
- the household size matches the size of the property advertised (all members of the household must be living in Ireland at time of applying); and
- the household has only entered one application for a specific cost rental property.
The LDA launched its first cost rental offering to the market in Archer’s Wood, Delgany, County Wicklow in partnership with Cairn Homes in November 2022. In total, 142 homes in this north Wicklow location will be provided, with 48 two- and three-bedroom duplexes and 94 one-, two-, and three-bed apartments. These are currently being marketed to prospective occupiers at affordable rents based on costs.
Archer’s Wood, Delgany, County Wicklow
The first tenants received their new cost rental homes on 16 January 2023. As part of its Affordable Homes Programme, the LDA is delivering 24 two-bed duplexes at €1,455 per calendar month and 24 three-bed duplexes at €1,550 per calendar month on the Archers Wood site. These rents are on average 30 per cent below the market rate in the area. March 2023 saw the LDA launching phase two of Archer’s Wood, comprising an additional 24 duplexes.
We also launched phase one of the Parklands development in March 2023. The houses in Citywest are three- and four-bed family units located in Parklands on Fortunestown Lane. They will be released in phases over the next 16 months, starting with the first 22 units.
Rents start at €1,350 a month for a three-bed, two-storey terraced house. The monthly rent for a four-bed, two-storey, terrace house, is €1,450 and tenants in a four-bed, three-storey, terraced house will pay €1,460. These rents are typically about 57 per cent below market rents.
Hansfield, Dublin 15
In a further scheme the LDA has contracted with the McGarrell Reilly Group, for the delivery of 247 apartments in Hansfield, Dublin 15. Hansfield is well located in Dublin’s North-Western suburbs, with excellent public transport into the city and with very good amenities close by. Construction has commenced on site and delivery of the homes is expected to take place during 2024. The homes will be made available to rent by the LDA upon completion.
The LDA will conduct new lotteries for cost rental homes and processes with local authorities for affordable purchase homes early in 2023. The following schemes are now substantially complete and will be accepting applicants shortly:
- Citywest, Dublin 12 – 22 houses for cost rent;
- Archer’s Wood, Delgany, County Wicklow – 94 apartments cost rent (additional to the 48 already allocated from the first round); and
- Hansfield, Dublin 15.
John Coleman, CEO of the LDA, says: “Project Tosaigh is providing an important mechanism for us to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing by supporting housing construction on private land where it had stalled. We intend to deliver 5,000 affordable homes by 2026 through this approach, substantially increasing our delivery capability in the short term. Whilst our longer-term approach continues to focus on publicly owned land, it makes sense for the LDA to step in as a catalyst to speed up affordable homes delivery that is needed now, with the security of knowing all homes will be either retained in public ownership or made available for households to purchase on an affordable basis.”
Further releases will follow in 2023.