Borrowing limit of the Housing Finance Agency to also be increased
Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD today welcomed Government approval at today’s cabinet meeting for interim funding for the Land Development Agency (LDA) to ensure the delivery of their business plan in the short to medium term – with a total of approximately €5bn available to the agency up to 2025. The long term sustainable funding of the LDA will also be considered, as it delivers its programme of work up to 2028.
Minister O’Brien today explained: “Under the LDA’s Business Plan 2024 – 2028, the agency will provide 12,900, primarily affordable cost rental, homes over the lifetime of the plan. This is a significant contribution to our overall objectives within Housing for All.
“This emphasis on delivering social and affordable housing means that there has been a significant change in the scale and remit of the LDA – limiting the agency’s ability to access private debt finance and use revenue from private housing developed to subsidise other elements of its portfolio.
“This Government is determined that the LDA is fully funded to play its full part in delivering much needed affordable and social homes under Housing for All. Only last week, the agency announced that it had started on the development of almost 220 affordable and social homes at the former Devoy Barracks in Naas, Co Kildare. This week the LDA announced that it has completed the purchase of lands in Clongriffin in north Dublin with planning permission for over 1,800 homes and the potential to deliver a total of over 2,300 affordable and social units. Today’s decision will give the agency the reassurance it needs to maintain this momentum.”
Amongst today’s considerations, the Government decided to:
• commit a further €1.25 billion from the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund for share equity in the Land Development Agency as required;
• agree to securing additional funding sources for a further €1.25 billion in funding for the LDA;
• further develop and agree options for the sustainable future funding of the LDA in 2024.
This additional funding, combined with the funding already allowed for under legislation (€2.5bn), means that the LDA may make funding commitments of up to €5bn, which should enable the agency to deliver into 2025 while longer term funding is developed and agreed.
Meanwhile, the Government today also decided to approve an increase in the borrowing limit of the Housing Finance Agency.
Minister O’Brien explained:
“My Department will now move to legislate to increase the borrowing limit of the agency from €10b to €12bn. We are now delivering homes at a rate not seen since the crash and the Housing Finance Agency has a crucial role to play in sustaining this momentum – particularly in funding projects from approved housing bodies which have been so effective in delivering social housing.”
This decision is in keeping with Housing for All (Action 18.5) which requires the Department to increase the borrowing capacity of the Housing Finance Agency to support the local government sector in land acquisition and the delivery of social and affordable homes.