To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the number of units covered by the enhanced leasing scheme by county; the anticipated costs per annum in 2018, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
A range of housing options are necessary to ensure a supply of accommodation to meet different types of social housing need. Harnessing the off-balance sheet potential of private investment in social housing is an important objective of the Government and the social housing targets set out in Rebuilding Ireland over the period to 2021 reflect the ambition in that regard.
Of the 50,000 social housing homes to be delivered under Rebuilding Ireland, 10,000 are targeted to be leased by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) under leasing arrangements from a range of different sources, including 3,500 homes targeted using the Repair and Lease Scheme (RLS), and 6,500 homes using a combination of the existing social housing leasing arrangements, and the new Enhanced Lease Scheme. All homes delivered under leasing arrangements, including a new Enhanced Leasing Scheme, will be funded under the Department’s Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP).
It is intended that up to 2,000 units will be leased by Local Authorities in 2018 through a combination of the existing Long Term Leasing arrangements, the Repair and Leasing Scheme and the new Enhanced Leasing Scheme.
The new Enhanced Leasing Scheme has been developed by my Department, together with the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA), the Housing Agency and local authorities, in order to harness the potential of private sector interest in social housing delivery in a new set of long-term leasing arrangements, in a manner designed to leverage off-balance sheet funding opportunities in accordance with Rebuilding Ireland objectives. The new Scheme is targeted at new build or new to the market properties to be delivered at scale and will complement the existing long-term leasing arrangements, which will continue to be available. There are, however, a number of key differences between the existing long term lease and the enhanced lease, the purpose of which is to facilitate larger levels of private investment in social housing while ensuring that the capital investment is off balance sheet in respect of Government expenditure.
The scheme will be governed by my Department and operated by local authorities. The Housing Agency will manage and administer the scheme on behalf of my Department and will act as a national co-ordinator.
A call for proposals was launched on 31 January 2018 and the Housing Agency accepted submissions from interested parties until 12 April 2018. All proposals are subject to a range of criteria as set out in the “Calls for Proposals for Enhanced Long Term Social Housing Leasing Scheme” and the proposals will be assessed and marked in accordance with the terms set out therein. The Call for Proposals is available on the Housing Agency website at the following link:
A total of 33 submissions were received from interested parties which represents strong interest from the market. The Housing Agency is currently reviewing the proposals and will complete the initial review process in the coming weeks. Of those assessed, 14 proposals were returned on the grounds that they did not meet certain minimum qualifying criteria, 4 proposals did not pass suitability or appropriateness tests and 1 proposal has been deemed withdrawn. The remaining 14 proposals are still in the assessment process or awaiting further information.
Detailed information with respect to the numbers and locations of the units proposed for leasing under the Scheme will only be available once the individual proposals have been assessed, marked and accepted in accordance with the terms and methodology set out in the Calls for Proposals document and the respective Local Authorities have signed any Agreements for Lease arising.
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