Voluntary Housing Organisations are known as Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs). These organisations have been approved by the Department of Housing Planning and Local Government under the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1992 for the purpose of accessing support from local authorities for housing provision.
Approved Housing Bodies are independent, not for profit organisations that provide affordable rented housing for people who cannot afford to pay private sector rents or buy their own homes. Approved Housing Bodies that avail of funding must be signed up to the Voluntary Regulation Code (VRC).
The approved housing bodies decide on the types of housing projects/services they will provide having regard to local need. They are responsible for tenancy allocations in consultation with the local authority.
Tipperary County Council actively supports the Voluntary Housing Sector in Tipperary. There are to date approximately 600 voluntary housing units owned and managed by approved housing bodies in the county.
Accommodation is provided under the following schemes:
• Capital Advanced Leasing Facility (CALF)
• Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS)
• Communal Facility Grants
Capital Advanced Leasing Facility (CALF)
The Capital Advanced Leasing Facility (CALF) is a resource available to support Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) to access private or Housing Finance Agency (HFA) loan finance for the purchase, and, in some cases, construction of units, (Accelerated Calf) that will then be made available for social housing under the leasing initiative. CALF is available to approved AHB’s as part of a leasing project and must be for a term of between 10 and 30 years
How CALF works:
• An Approved Housing Body (AHB) must submit a proposal to the Department of the Housing Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) for the purchase or construction of units using private finance and payments available under the leasing initiative.
If approved, the AHB and the Local Authority enter into two separate agreements:
• Capital Advance Agreement (CAA) - which outlines the terms and conditions of the loan.
• Payment and Availability Agreement (PAA) - which covers the conditions under which the properties will be made available for the term of the agreement.
Key criteria for approval under CALF:
• AHB must be approved for finance from the HFA and be able to demonstrate access to private finance.
• AHB must demonstrate value for money.
Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS)
The Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) provides housing for people with specific categories of need or sheltered housing and provides 95% of the funding towards the building costs of a project subject to certain maximum limits.
The AHB retains 25% nomination rights on a project where there is only 95% funding approval. However if the AHB does not wish to retain 25% nomination rights then 100% funding can be approved for the project subject to maximum limits. Nomination rights refer to the appointment of tenants to the property on completion or acquisition. Applicants must be approved for social housing and on an approved local authority social housing waiting list. In the case of the 25% above, these tenants do not have to be qualified for social housing or come from an approved local authority social housing waiting list.
Communal Facilities Grant Scheme
This grant scheme provides additional funding to the AHB’s based on a fixed amount for each unit of residential accommodation provided the scheme is available for the provision of such facilities.
Funding for this scheme is provided by way of a grant from the National Lottery.
Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) can procure units under the leasing initiative. This may be done in one of two ways:
• The AHB may lease units from a private owner/developer and make them available to persons assessed as being in need of social housing support.
• The AHB may undertake the purchase/construction of units using private finance, which will then be made available to meet housing needs.
For further information or application forms please contact:
Phone: 0761 06 5000
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (with the office open through lunch).