Housing Europe, a Brussels-based think tank has published a report for the Housing Agency on cost rental case studies in Austria, Denmark and Finland. Each of these three countries has large-scale cost rental social housing schemes. This report outlines how rent setting and financing takes place in each of the three countries.
This report is intended to help inform the on-going development and upscaling of this new affordable housing option in Ireland, as well as provide a template for other countries or regions who may wish to develop their own cost-based social rental sector. The report highlights rents which can be achieved through cost rental. For example, the rent paid by a new social tenant in new cost rental housing in Denmark is 28% lower than in the private sector. In Helsinki in Finland rents in the private sector are 62% higher than cost rental rents (per square metre) and in Austria the rent in cost rental homes is 23% below the average in the private sector.
The report notes that in order for the cost rental model to have the intended effect of reducing rents and increasing affordability, it needs to be large-scale, properly planned and long-term.
Social housing in Ireland was traditionally offered as an "income-based" approach to rent setting. However, the Irish Government has introduced cost rental, a new form of tenure into Ireland. It has committed to delivering 2,000 new cost rental homes in Ireland each year with rents expected to be at least 25% below market level. The first development of this type was delivered in Taylor Hill in Balbriggan in July 2020.
To read the report in full please follow this link.