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Government Funding to Build Social Housing for Older People

The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage funds the building of housing by Approved Housing Bodies under a number of capital programmes, including the Capital Assistance Scheme.

Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS)

The Capital Assistance Scheme funds Approved Housing Bodies to provide housing for people with specific categories of need, such as older people, people with disabilities and those experiencing homelessness. Full details of the scheme are available from your local authorities, which are responsible for its administration. You can also contact your Age Friendly Technical Advisor for more information.

The Health Services Executive also provides support for some housing, particularly those involving people with disabilities or older people. Contributions can also be made to the cost of providing ‘communal facilities’, such as a meeting room or shared dining space.

Using the Capital Assistance Scheme, the Approved Housing Bodies, working with local authorities, provide Supported/Independent Housing Schemes for older people, either by building new housing, buying or adapting homes. The aim is to deliver well-designed homes in a suitable location, close to services.

There are different models of Supported/Independent housing, ranging from housing with low level of supports to those with a high level of care and supports. More information on the different models of supported or independent housing can be found on the Supported / Independent housing section of this website. Accommodation can be grouped, individual self-contained homes, or may be shared housing, with or without shared communal facilities.

Capital Advanced Leasing Facility (CALF)

CALF is a loan facility, which is exclusively available to Approved Housing Bodies (AHB’s) to assist them in accessing private or Housing Finance Agency (HFA) finance for the acquisition, construction or refurbishment of units that will then be made available for social housing purposes where the ongoing funding is provided through the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP).  Essentially, the facility works by providing AHB’s, where funding is approved, with a small capital advance in the form of a loan that is made available by the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage through local authorities.  This loan facility is a contract debt between the local authority and the AHB. 

This loan facility is only available as part of a project where the AHB makes the homes available under a Payment & Availability (P&A) agreement to nominees of the housing authority for a set period of time.  Repayments on the CALF loan are not required during the term of the P&A agreement but the amount, plus interest, remains outstanding at the end of the agreement.  The purpose of this is to ensure that the capital advance should assist AHB’s in securing all of the necessary finance to deliver homes and make projects more viable for AHB’s from liquidity or cash flow perspective, particularly in the initial years.  

Payment and Availability Agreement (P&A)

Payment and Availability agreements (P&A) are key agreements that underpin all leasing arrangements for AHB’s.  This agreement and sets out detailed terms and conditions between the local authority and the AHB and provides evidence to potential funders of an income stream that may assist with access to finance. Under a P&A agreement, the AHB makes a property available to the Housing Authority for social housing for a set period of up to 30 years.  The local authority will agree to pay the Approved Housing Body a percentage of the market rent.

Under the P&A Agreement the AHBs agree to:

  • make the properties available for social housing purposes for a  term of up to 30 years,
  • manage and maintain the units in a condition suitable for letting,
  • be the landlord to the occupying tenants
  • accept the nomination of tenants from the local authority which has 100% nomination rights.

Local authorities agree to:

  • pay an ‘availability payment’ to the AHB,
  • liaise with the AHB regarding nominations,
  • monitor compliance with the Availability Agreement during the term of same,
  • pay the AHB on a monthly/quarterly basis. This money is recouped from DHLGH.
  • In the case of a purchase using Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) and Payment and Availability Agreement (P&A) the AHB will be eligible for up to 92% of the Market rent with apartments eligible for up to 95% (where there is a service charge on the property) of the market rent. This payment is dependent on continued occupancy for the period of the Agreement.

The tenant pays differential rent (rent based on household income) to the AHB based on the relevant local authority’s differential rent scheme.