Housing Associations officially on government books, according to Eurostat – Ó Broin
Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has commented on the Eurostat decision today that states that housing associations are officially on the government books.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Today, Eurostat has dictated that Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) should be classified in the government sector and are therefore on the state balance sheet.
“This decision, while disappointing, was expected.
“The ramifications for AHBs and the delivery of social homes as a result of this diktat will be felt from 2019 onwards.
“The government has known since early 2017 this was going to happen. It didn’t prepare and just sat on its hands despite urgings from the AHB sector and opposition parties.
“The Eurostat decision does more than confirm the CSO analysis. It worryingly also indicates that, if the sector went back off balance sheet, the non-market nature of the social housing service these organisations provide must change.
“The decision makes reference to the fact that, ‘prices charges for renting cannot be seen as being economically significant, due to the fact, among others, that they do not respond to change in the market or economic signals’.
“To fundamentally change the ethos of AHBs as providers of social homes at an affordable differential rent would be detrimental for the delivery of social housing.
“The government must now urgently outline the contingency plans in place to ensure that the AHB delivery targets in Rebuilding Ireland are not affected by this decision in the coming years.
“The Departments of Housing and Finance must engage with the sector and with the Housing committee to find a way forward that doesn’t impact on the not for profit ethos that this sector embodies.”
Note: Please see link to Eurostat decision below.