Cost Rental discussed by housing and planning experts

Seminar examining cost rental models is taking place as part of the Vienna Model of Housing Exhibition

A discussion on Cost Rental models of housing took place this morning during a seminar entitled ‘Delivering New Affordable Rental for Dublin’, as part of the Vienna Model of Housing exhibition, taking place in Dublin until 25th April.

The Vienna Model of Housing Exhibition is a joint partnership between Dublin City Council, the Housing Agency and City of Vienna which aims to inform a wider debate on housing futures in our cities and towns across the country. The model is internationally regarded for its continued achievement of sustainable, high quality housing using a cost rental approach to deliver housing for all.

Vienna Model of Housing exhibition Picture:Arthur Carron

The subject of research by a number of housing experts, cost rental is the calculation of rent based on provision and maintenance, rather than market rent. Experts believe it offers huge potential for the development of Ireland’s current housing system.

Already responsible for a significant proportion of housing across many European countries, such as Austria, housing leaders have the opportunity to develop Ireland’s own housing system, underpinned with insight from existing models.

John O’Connor, CEO of the Housing Agency said, “We think that the Viennese model is a particularly good model for how we might provide long-term affordable rental homes for a wide cohort of Irish households with low to middle incomes, who wish to rent. We believe that cost rental public housing should be a major part of the housing we provide and there is a need to establish cost rental in Ireland on a large scale. We must focus on public investment to support communities creating good places to live.”

O’Connor added “Cost rental housing is where long-term secure rental homes are built where rents are based on the costs of provision. This can achieve homes that are affordable and secure in good quality, thriving communities.”

The first cost rental project in the state, in recent times, is on lands in Stepaside, Dublin, provided by the Housing Agency. Construction of 105 social and 50 cost rental homes is commencing in June.

The Housing Agency is also providing 3 sites for development to the Land Development Agency. The Housing Agency is setting specific requirements for the provision of long-term cost rental housing on these sites. One of these sites is Devoy Barracks in Kildare which the Housing Agency expects to be delivered as a cost-rental model. It will have a minimum of 250 houses and apartments.

John Coleman, CEO of the Land Development Agency, said, “The Land Development Agency has a key role in making housing more affordable for citizens. It plans to do this by helping more State owned and private land become available for development. However, affordable housing delivery also forms a key part of its mandate. State owned land has a requirement from Government that at least 40% of homes delivered on it must be social and/or affordable. In many cases it will be higher, particularly where the land is owned by local authorities in higher value areas.”

Coleman continued, “The LDA is examining cost rental and other models as potential mechanisms for delivering on this mandate and welcomes the debate and discussion prompted by the Vienna Housing Model exhibition and seminars.”

Brendan Kenny, Deputy Chief Executive of Dublin City Council said, “Dublin City Council will continue to lead on developing new and innovative approaches to delivering quality, new affordable housing for rent and we very much welcome the broadening of support towards new housing developed under a cost-rental approach. Here in Inchicore – as in Ballymun and elsewhere too – we are committed to realising a new housing scheme on a cost-rental basis that will deliver 330 dwellings of a variety of type and design required to achieve a balanced and sustainable community. This is additional to the 142 social rental dwellings that will also be provided here and will include dedicated housing for older persons


“With this new housing comes plans for new commercial, community, recreational, leisure and sports facilities. For example a new public library, supermarket and retails outlets as well as a high quality civic building, public plaza and neighbourhood park with play facilities are all part of the overall masterplan for this new residential quarter of Dublin 8. Presently, Dublin City Council is building up the details of the masterplan and engaging design teams for the new developments. We are working closely with the Kilmainham Inchicore Network (KIN) and the Inchicore Regeneration Consultative Forum as we

 Vienna Model of Housing exhibition Picture:Arthur Carron

proceed. We need the support of all stakeholders to make our plans a reality.”

The Vienna Model of Housing is internationally regarded for its continued achievement of sustainable, high quality residential development using a cost-rental approach that in effect delivers housing for all. The Vienna Model of Housing Exhibition is open to the public and will be hosted in Richmond Barracks from 15th to 25th April. Children are also invited to take part in specifically designed workshops which explore engineering and building.

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Notes to the Editor

The Dublin Housing Observatory is an initiative of Dublin City Council. Underway since July 2018, the mission of the Dublin Housing Observatory is to make Dublin city an affordable and sustainable place to live by ensuring its housing and urban development strategy, policy and practice is underpinned by robust evidence and data.

The Housing Agency works with and supports, local authorities, housing bodies, and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government in the delivery of housing and housing services. The Housing Agency’s vision is to promote the building of sustainable communities.