In the three months to Christmas, Túath Housing has spent €70m acquiring 348 homes across Ireland, including in counties Dublin, Cork, Donegal, Meath and Cavan.
Some €55m of funding was provided by the Housing Finance Agency, with the rest from AIB and long-term low interest loans from the Department of Housing. The last deal of the year was concluded with the Housing Agency on December 19th, for a bundle of 29 individual properties in 13 Council areas at a cost of €5.7m, utilising a €20m AIB loan facility.
Túath Housing’s total spend on property in 2018 was over €150m, helping to deliver 800 plus new social homes via partnerships with twenty five Local Authorities. The new homes brings the total number of social homes managed by Túath nationwide to just under 4,500 properties.
Dozens of families have moved into their new high quality, ultra-affordable homes just in time for Christmas at an average rent of €57 per week with the final property lettings happening right up until Christmas.
Túath Housing Chief Executive, Sean O’Connor commented:
“It is truly rewarding to be able to help so many families at this time of year, where the home and family is a big part of celebrating Christmas. We are very proud to have worked with so many local authorities to provide these much-needed social homes across the country. We strongly believe that the provision of more social homes and the future provision of new affordable homes to rent is essential to break the vicious unaffordability cycle of rapidly rising house prices and spiralling market rents.”
In Co. Laois the final phase of 13 homes were allocated bringing a total of 39 new homes to Portarlington. Matthew and Maura were thrilled to get keys to their forever homes just in time for the festive season.
Maura has been in private rental accommodation for the past 10 years and is heading into her 11th year. She has had to live with the unpredictability of the rental market changing and rent increasing throughout the years and sometimes exceeding the threshold of rental schemes. The worry of renting has left her with sleepless nights. The house she currently lives in has leaks, damp and mould throughout. The house had oil fired central heating, at recently there was no heating at all in the house as in order to have the oil tank filled there is a minimum fill of €280 which has to be paid up front which she could not afford. Throughout her 10 years living there she advised she has been without heat at least once a year and it would normally be in the run up to Christmas. Maura has also been left in a position where it is difficult to work as with the cost of private rental and childcare it was unsustainable. Maura said this was one of the happiest days of her life and she is looking forward to a brighter future with more options for going back into the workforce now available to her along with no worries about the security of her home. She is also delighted that it is gas central heating as this will be much more manageable and affordable to run. Maura is looking forward to living in her forever home with her two daughters.
Yesterday Matthew Byrne was delighted when he received the keys for his new home in Portarlington, Co. Laois. It means so much to him that he will finally be able to create a home for his daughter Lilly aged 9 and son Finn aged 6. Mathew was a home owner who, unfortunately, fell on hard financial times and the property was repossessed. He feels this is a fresh start and enables him to get on with the rest of his life and leave that behind him.
Lilly has a life limiting condition and having a place to live with her dad is so important. This new property in Portarlington has given Mathew the opportunity to create a family home with new memories. Lilly was a little apprehensive about meeting the other children in the development and the Christmas party held by Tuath on move in day gave her and Finn the opportunity to make friends with meet their new neighbours.
A further 17 homes were allocated to families in Co. Louth yesterday. Housing Officer Niall Duffy spent time going through the pre-tenancy with the lucky families.
In Knightsbridge Retirement Village there was fun, food and song at the annual Christmas Party.