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Social Housing

Posted: Apr 13, 2022 By: Communications Research area:  Social Housing
Opening Statement: Bob Jordan - Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage Social & Affordable Housing – Financing and Funding

On Tuesday 22nd March, the Housing Agency was asked to attend the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing to discuss our role in the funding & financing of Social & Affordable Housing. In particular, the Housing Agency discussed its direct roles in funding and financing - providing Cost Rental Equity Loans (CREL) to Approved Housing Bodies and managing the Housing Agency's Acquisition Fund. Our indirect roles were also covered, including the technical assessment of the Payment & Availability and Capital Advance Leasing Facility funding applications, the Mortgage to Rent Scheme, the underwriting service for Local Authority Home Loans and technical assessment of the Affordable Housing Fund.

The Housing Agency was represented by Bob Jordan, CEO, Jim Baneham, Director of Delivery and Claire Feeney, Head of Local Authority Services.

You can read Bob Jordan, CEO's opening statement below, or watch the full committee on the Oireachtas website. 

 

Opening Statement: Bob Jordan - Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage Social & Affordable Housing – Financin Opening Statement: Bob Jordan - Joint Committee on Housing, Local Government and Heritage Social & Affordable Housing – Financin
Posted: Mar 30, 2022 By: Communications Research area:  Social Housing, Design, Supply, Place
Social Housing  in Mixed Tenure Communities

A report being launched today (31st March), commissioned by the Housing Agency and the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) and carried out by Professor Michelle Norris and Dr. Aideen Hayden of UCD finds that strong and integrated communities have developed among the private and social housing residents in mixed tenure estates, and that there is overwhelming support for tenure mixing as a key policy to combatting socio-spatial segregation. Over the past twenty years, the percentage of Approved Housing Body (AHB) owned or managed social housing located in mixed tenure estates has increased from 20% to 78.2%; this reflects state policy objectives and measures such as Part V.

The report, Social Housing in Mixed Tenure Communities, looks at social housing provided by approved housing bodies (AHBs) in mixed tenure developments, the reasons why decisions are made to cluster or disperse social housing in these estates and how well these models work from both AHB staff and tenant perspectives. An important key finding is that both clustered and dispersed social housing has worked well, despite the consensus in favour of the dispersal of social housing. ‘Tenure blind’ design of mixed tenure housing was considered more important (in both the research literature and case study interviews) for the integration of residents of different tenures than the location of the social rented dwellings. This can be applied in both clustered and dispersed settings.

The report also identifies that high standards of housing management are important for the success of mixed tenure estates but that management can be challenging, particularly in view of the stigma that still attaches to social housing. Approved housing bodies’ strong record in this regard is identified as another factor contributing to the success of the case study estates.

Speaking at today’s launch Donal McManus, ICSH Chief Executive says:

“This report documents a success story that needs to be shared. The majority of the AHB tenants, private owners and private tenants interviewed for the research agree that tenure mixing is positive. Also, initial homeowner preconceptions about AHBs and social residents becoming their neighbours, were alleviated over time. Interviews with social residents reveal that community integration in general is of greater importance than the location of their home, and that non-housing amenities, such as playgrounds and inclusion in residents’ committees can help cement the bonds of community. Critically too, the research interviews with AHB CEOs and staff did not identify any great difficulty in the management of mixed tenure over single tenure estates. The sector has the skills and knowledge required.”

The research identifies additional factors, such as procurement and funding models, as well as estate design, which influence the delivery and location of social housing in mixed tenure estates. A significant finding of the analysis is the important role that social housing plays in underpinning the financial viability of market housing provision in mixed tenure estates. The practical advantage for social landlords of purchasing whole apartment blocks for social housing, and the benefits this offers to developers faced with the upfront financing required to develop apartment blocks is helping to drive the clustering of this tenure. The report calls for a holistic assessment of the impact of residential density guidelines (intended and unintended) and research on ways of achieving density without relying entirely on high-rise.

Co-Author of the report, Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Geary Institute for Public Policy, UCD says:

“This research represents important learning for us. The socio-economic issues arising from the spatial concentration of low-income households and the impact of social mixing have been much studied internationally. However, the volume of Irish research has been small. The lack of information on tenure mixing in Ireland represents a critical knowledge gap and its implementation as a policy may also be challenged given current developments in housing policy. This research aims to bridge these information gaps and raises important considerations for housing policy such as design (tenure blind) and layout, the tenure mix of neighbouring communities, density issues, appropriate funding to support management fees and planning and housing policy to support the monitoring of socio-spatial segregation.”

 Bob Jordan, Chief Executive of the Housing Agency added:

“The Housing Agency is strongly committed to promoting sustainable communities through mixed tenure. Approximately eight out of every ten homes owned or managed by Approved Housing Bodies are in mixed tenure estates and this proportion is likely to grow in the years ahead. This research shows that tenure mixing can improve the quality of life of the residents of all tenures and it can benefit surrounding neighbourhoods as well. Key to community integration is ‘tenure blind’ design, good estate management, the provision of amenities including playgrounds and community centres, and the work of residents’ associations. The Housing Agency is pleased to have supported this research and we look forward to advancing its recommendations.”

A video recording of the event is available on our YouTube channel here

 

About The Housing Agency

The Housing Agency is a Government body working with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies in the delivery of housing and housing services. The Agency’s vision is to achieve an integrated housing system, meeting the nation’s housing needs and promoting sustainable communities. It does this by providing evidence-based housing insights and data that inform thinking and policy-making; by working with others to enable the delivery of housing solutions and to implement programmes and actions in Government housing policy; and by equipping itself and its stakeholders with the capacity required to respond quickly and effectively to challenges in the housing system. For more information, visit www.housingagency.ie or follow The Housing Agency on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About the Irish Council for Social Housing

The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) was established in 1982 and is the national social housing federation of nonprofit voluntary and other national housing associations. The ICSH represents approximately 270 member organisations that own and manage 45,000 homes and house 100,000 people including families on a low income, older people, disabled people and households experiencing homelessness. ICSH members operate in every local authority area in the country and in over 500 communities across Ireland. www.icsh.ie

About the Researchers

Professor Michelle Norris is UCD Head of the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice and teaches social policy on the Bachelor of Social Science and Master of Public Policy degrees. Her teaching and research interests focus on housing policy and urban regeneration, particularly on: the management and financing of social housing; the regeneration of social housing estates and inner urban areas; comparative analysis of housing provision in Europe and the history and socio-economic implications of Irish housing policy and its relationship with the welfare state. She has led over 20 research project on these issues since 2000 and produced 50 publications on the results. In 2011 she was appointed by the Taoiseach as an independent member of the National Economic and Social Council (NESC) and in 2012, was appointed by the Minister for the Environment as Chair of the Board of the Housing Finance Agency.

Dr Aideen Hayden is a PhD graduate of the school of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice and received a 2016 UCD Alumni Award for Social Science. She is a former Senator (former Seanad Eireann Spokesperson on Housing, Children and Youth Affairs, Spokesperson on Finance and Spokesperson on European Affairs, as well as Vice-Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform). For almost three decades, Aideen has served as Chair of Threshold, the leading advice and advocacy organisation working on behalf of tenants in the private rented sector.

 

Social Housing  in Mixed Tenure Communities Report Social Housing in Mixed Tenure Communities Report
Social Housing  in Mixed Tenure Communities Report Summary Social Housing in Mixed Tenure Communities Report Summary
Posted: Mar 30, 2022 By: Communications Research area:  Social Housing
Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) 2021 Released

Social Housing Lists Cut By a Third

Over 9,000 Social Homes Delivered Last Year – up 17% on Previous Year

Households on Social Housing Waiting List Drop by over 32,000 in Five Years

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien, T.D, has today welcomed figures published in the 2021 Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) which show a substantial reduction of 35.3% in the social housing waiting list since the first annual assessment was conducted in 2016.

The 2021 SSHA shows 59,247 households were assessed as being qualified for, and in need of, social housing support as of 17 November 2021. This figure is down 2,633 (4.3%) from 61,880 households on 2 November 2020.   This figure also represents a total decrease of 32,353 (35.3%) since 2016.

The Minister also published the social housing statistics for Quarter 4 2021.  A total of 4,010 social homes were delivered in Quarter 4, including 2,053 new build social homes, 810 acquisitions and 1,147 homes delivered through leasing programmes. 

Overall in 2021, a total of 9,183 new social homes were delivered, an increase of 17% on 2020 figures. This total includes 5,202 (an increase of 2.6% on 2020) new build homes, 1,270 acquisitions and 2,711 homes delivered through leasing programmes.

The Minister welcomed the publication of the data, noting that for a fifth consecutive year the overall number of households on local authority waiting lists continued to decrease. He also welcomed the fact that 9,183 social housing solutions were found for people despite the significant impact which the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent construction sector shutdowns had on efforts.

Commenting on today’s figures, Minister O’Brien said:

“These results are evidence that Government investment in social housing supports is working. Over 23,300 households had their housing needs met in 2021 – this is despite the very significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on delivery. It’s important to remember that most residential construction was halted for a 13-week period from January to April. 

“We must not, and will not, lose sight of the fact that there are still just over 59,000 households who are relying on us for the provision of housing support. Housing for All, which was launched six months ago, sets us on a pathway to delivering 90,000 new social homes by the end of 2030. This year we will be investing more than €4 billion, to deliver 11,820 new social homes in 2022, including 9,000 new build social homes. 

“We are watching the situation in Ukraine closely. The Russian invasion is having significant impacts on all sectors of society and as we ramp up all types of housing delivery this year we will be wary of any impact the war will have. 

“The strong pipeline of home building activity is encouraging. New figures show that in the past twelve months (March 2021 to February 2022), Commencement Notices for the construction of 33,006 new homes were received. This is the highest rolling 12-month total since comparable data was first published. Specifically related to social housing, the Construction Status Report for Quarter 4 2021, showed that there were 8,749 social homes onsite at the end of December, with a further 10,455 homes at various stages of design and procurement. Supporting local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies to increase housing construction is a priority for my Department.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

2021 SSHA Report attached.

NB: The key figure reported in the SSHA is referred to as ‘Net Need’ - that is the total number of households qualified for social housing support but whose need is not currently being met. This total excludes households that are:

  1. Duplicate applications – where a household has applied to more than one area for social housing, only their oldest application is included in the count.
  2. Already in receipt of social housing support, e.g. households currently living in local authority rented accommodation, voluntary/co-operative accommodation, accommodation provided under the HAP scheme, accommodation provided under the RAS, or accommodation provided under the SHCEP schemes.
  3. On a transfer list - any household that has applied for a transfer from an existing form of social housing support.
     

Detailed results of previous Summary of Social Housing Assessments are available on the Department’s website.

Year

No. on List

Notes

2016

91,600

Dated September 21st 2016. First of annual SSHA’s. Previous SSHA carried out in 2013.

2017

85,799

Dated June 28th 2017. Decrease of 6.3% on previous SSHA 

2018

71,858

Dated June 11th 2018. Decrease of 16.2% on previous SSHA 

2019

68,693

Dated June 24th 2019. Decrease of 4.4% on previous SSHA 

2020

61,880

Dated 2nd November 2020. Decrease of 9.9% on previous SSHA 

2021

59,247

Dated 17th November 2021. Decrease of 4.3% on previous SSHA

 

 

 

Posted: May 12, 2021 By: SOA Research Research area:  Social Housing, Owner Occupied
Roadmapping a Viable Community-Led Housing Sector for Ireland

Community-Led Housing is a ground-up approach which enables people to pool their collective resources to create homes that are accessible and affordable to all. It understands housing not as just the ‘provision of houses,’ but the empowerment of diverse, sustainable communities.

SOA Research has launched its new publication series, Roadmapping a Viable Community-Led Housing Sector for Ireland, which comprises a series of handbooks on Community-Led Housing, offering guidance in the areas of Policy, Finance, Land and Getting your Group Ready.

Supported by The Housing Agency, The Land Development Agency, Ó Cualann Cohousing Alliance and the Goethe lnstitut Irland, SOA Research initiated and coordinated a 12-month research project to roadmap a Community-Led Housing infrastructure for Ireland, which culminates in this new publication series. Project stakeholders included eight Irish CLH groups as well as public and private sector housing practitioners in Ireland and across Europe. 

Read the publication series below:

 

Posted: Mar 23, 2021 By: Michelle Norris , Angela Palmer , Joanne Kelleher and Jim Campbell , School of Social Policy , Social Work and Social Justice , UCD Research area:  Social Housing, Housing For Travellers
Review of Local Authority Social Workers and Personnel Employed to Assist Travellers with their Accommodation Needs

This report presents a review of the role of social workers and other personnel employed by local authorities specifically to assist Travellers with their accommodation needs.

It was commissioned by The Housing Agency on behalf of the Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

This publication was written by Michelle Norris, Angela Palmer, Joanne Kelleher and Jim Campbell, School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice, University College Dublin.

The report can be read here.

Since the mid-1960s, local authorities have employed social workers to support Travellers in meeting their accommodation needs. Since then, the nature and scale of the demands on local authority housing departments have changed and local authorities have taken on new housing responsibilities.

This report found continuing levels of  accommodation need among this community and makes a number of recommendations to improve the effectiveness of this service in the context of the wider local authority housing service. This includes the implementation of the recommendations of the Traveller Accommodation Expert Review 2019.

The views expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of The Housing Agency, the Minister of State or the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Posted: Mar 09, 2021 By: The Housing Agency Research area:  Social Housing
Summary of Social Housing Assessments 2020

Produced by The Housing Agency using local authority data, the annual Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA) brings together information provided by local authorities on households that are qualified for social housing support but whose social housing need is not currently being met. It is a point-in-time assessment of the identified need for social housing support across the country.

The SSHA 2020 report can be read here.

 

Among the key findings of SSHA 2020 are:

  • The number of households with an unmet social housing need fell by 10% in 2020, to 61,880.
  • 25 of 31 local authorities recorded fewer households on their lists than in 2019. An additional 354 households were identified across the six local authorities where the number with an unmet need for social housing had increased.
  • More than four-in-ten households with an unmet social housing need live in the four Dublin local authorities.
  • The majority of unmet need is in small households: single adult households account for over half of those with an unmet need for social housing (52%), while nearly a quarter are lone parent households (24%).
  • The number of households waiting longer is falling; the share of households waiting for more than four years fell by almost four percentage points (from 48.7% to 44.8%). Conversely, the share of households waiting for fewer than two years increased by 1.6 percentage points (from 33.8% to 35.4%).
Posted: Dec 03, 2020 By: Isoilde Dillon Research area:  Social Housing, Design
Social, Affordable & Co-operative Housing in Europe

This report features case studies from Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark into innovations in design and construction of social, affordable and co-operative housing in Europe.

The report can be read here.

Posted: Oct 29, 2020 By: Roslyn Molloy , Rory Mulholland Research area:  Social Housing, Housing For Older People
Thinking Ahead: The Financial Benefits of Investing in Supported Housing for Older People

The report Thinking Ahead: The Financial Benefits of Investing in Supported Housing for Older People was conducted as part of a range of recommended actions under the policy statement ‘Housing Options for Our Ageing Population’, published by the Government in March 2019.

Carried out by The Housing Agency, this research found that, by supporting people to live in homes suited to their needs, an average annual Government saving of €4,650 per person can be made, compared to that individual remaining in their current home or moving into long term residential care.

The figures are based on the provision of Supported Housing for 11,400 people over the next 10 years, a number derived from expected projections in Ireland’s population aged over 80.

The report Thinking Ahead: The Financial Benefits of Investing in Supported Housing for Older People is available here.

Attitudinal Survey of Mature Homeowners

On 29 October 2020 the Minister for State with responsibility for Local Government and Planning, Peter Burke TD, launched both the above report, and the Attitudinal Survey of Mature Homeowners, which was conducted by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service.

You can read the Attitudinal Survey of Mature Homeowners here.

Posted: Sep 10, 2020 By: roslynmolloy , ursulamcanulty , séinhealy and annemurphy Research area:  Housing Attitudes & Aspirations Series, Social Housing, Private Rented Sector, Owner Occupied, Housing For Older People, Demand, Design
Apartment Living in Ireland 2019

Housing Agency National Study of Irish Housing Experiences, Attitudes and Aspirations in Ireland - Apartment Living in Ireland 2019.  This study set out to find out how satisfied people living in apartments were with their homes.

The information in this research study was collected by: face-to-face Interviews with more than 500 people living in apartments, two focus groups with families with young children living in apartments and two focus groups with older renters, a literature review and a summary of recent policy changes, legislation and guidelines that impact on the development of apartment living.

The report is available here.

Posted: Dec 11, 2019 By: ursulamcanulty Research area:  Social Housing, Demand
Summary of Social Housing Assessments 2019

Each year, the Housing Agency carries out an assessment of households qualified for social housing support. The Summary of Social Housing Assessments brings together information provided by local authorities on households that are qualified for social housing support but whose social housing need is not currently being met. It is a point-in-time assessment of the identified need for social housing support across the country.

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