AHBs are not-for-profit organisations that have a social purpose to provide for people’s housing needs by working in close co-operation with the Government, local authorities and relevant agencies.
In particular, Housing Alliance members work in partnership with local authorities to support the provision of housing and, in many cases, additional supports.The Government has recognised that AHBs are central to the meeting of Ireland’s social and affordable housing needs, with Rebuilding Ireland recognising that AHBs will deliver one-third of the 50,000 additional social homes needed by 2021.
They provide affordable rented housing for people who cannot afford to buy or rent their own homes.
AHBs are regulated by law: Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1992, empowers the Minister for Housing to grant approved status to suitable organisations, so that they can work with statutory authorities to provide housing. AHBs are also regulated, on a voluntary basis, by the Housing Agency, with statutory regulation of the sector expected in the very near future.
There are over 540 AHBs currently operating in Ireland. Further information and a register of all AHBs is available here.
Playing a Key Role in Delivering Social Housing
Local authorities are the largest providers of social housing in Ireland, with a current housing stock of approximately 140,000 dwellings.
AHBs, however, are increasingly important in social housing provision working in partnership with local authorities: their current stock is in the region of 30,000 dwellings. I other words, AHBs are providing homes for 30,000 families who cannot afford to buy or rent in the open market.
The most recent national housing action plan, Rebuilding Ireland, identifies AHBs as key delivery partners for new social housing, recognising “their track record both in terms of housing provision and management”.
The current government target for social housing output is 50,000 additional homes by 2021. AHBs will play a key role in meeting this target: it is envisaged they will deliver one third of that figure overall.