Funding the future
The Housing Finance Agency is a key player in the delivery of social and affordable housing across Ireland
Image: Fold Housing Association's New Dolphin Park development in Dublin
Acting Lending Team Leader, Housing Finance Agency
Established in 1982, the Housing Finance Agency is a semi-state organisation operating under the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. It plays a key role in providing market-leading finance for social and affordable housing development to local authorities, Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) and Higher Education Institutions. It currently manages a total loan book of €6 billion.
The provision of competitive funding by the HFA is seen as an important component in the delivery of social and affordable housing by the government under its Housing for All plan. The HFA is expected to fund a quarter of all the expenditure to deliver Homes for All, and the Agency’s loan book is expected to grow to nearly €12 billion by 2026 as a result.
The HFA’s 2021 Annual Report already showed strong activity and a pipeline of projects, including:
- Record year of lending to AHBs with advances of €709 million for the provision of 2,833 new homes (increase of 29% on 2020)
- Loan approvals were also strong at €1 billion despite the COVID-19 related delays and site closures (matching 2020’s figure)
- In 2021, the HFA approved a total of €200 million in loan finance as part of the new Cost Rental Equity Loan (CREL) initiative which will finance the delivery of 844 new affordable rental homes
Also, the transaction size for HFA projects is increasing:
- The average loan approved in 2021 increased to €6.4 million (€5.25 million in 2020)
- The average development size approved in 2021 increased to 27 homes versus 24 homes in 2020
- Loan duration ranges from 20 to 30 years
Finally, the HFA’s loan facilities approved have continued to grow:
- 152 loans approved across 18 different counties
- Individual loans range from €150,000 to €69 million
Here are some examples of projects the Housing Finance Agency has supported.
Fold Housing Association: New Dolphin Park, Rialto, Dublin 8 (housing for the elderly).
The Housing Finance Agency has provided construction finance for the development and regeneration of New Dolphin Park in Rialto. Developed by FOLD Housing Association, this development provides purpose-build homes for 43 older persons.
The scheme comprises one and two-bed apartments finished to a high standard, with superior-level energy rating. The entire development is fully designed to the latest Universal Design guidelines and has the needs of older residents fully considered with automated door entry and lifts to upper floors.
Each apartment also features the latest technology from Radius Connect 24 that will give residents the peace of mind that they are safe and secure 24 hours of the day.
Respond Housing Association: Carr’s Lane, Malahide Road, Dublin 17 (general needs housing).
The Housing Finance Agency provided construction finance to Respond Housing Association for the development 59 new homes at Carr’s Lane, Malahide Road, Dublin 17.
Carr’s Lane is a new residential development comprising a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments arranged in two four-storey blocks.
The development is located within a mature, tree-lined site and is within close proximity to Balgriffin. All of the homes in the development have a BER rating of A2.
Túath Housing Association: Kilcarbery Grange, Clondalkin, Dublin 22 (Cost Rental)
The Housing Finance Agency provided loan finance to Túath Housing Association for the acquisition of 74 new Cost Rental homes at Kilcarbery Grange, Clondalkin, Dublin 22.
Kilcarbery Grange is a new residential development of more than 1,000 homes overlooking Corkagh Park and is adjacent to Clondalkin and Lucan villages.
The development includes a civic square, community building and a crèche.
Clúid Housing Association: Barnhall Meadows, Leixlip, Co. Kildare (Cost Rental)
The Housing Finance Agency provided loan finance to Clúid Housing Association for the acquisition of 56 new Cost Rental homes at Barnhall Meadows, Leixlip, Co. Kildare.
Barnhall Meadows is a new residential development located on the edge of the Castletown Estate, a 550-acre site with gardens and parklands all open to the public.
The development is located within close proximity to Leixlip town centre and a host of local services and amenities.