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Minister O’Brien delighted that Ireland’s first purpose built Cost Rental and social housing development wins Social Housing Development of the Year

Minister O’Brien delighted that Ireland’s first purpose built Cost Rental and social housing development wins Social Housing Development of the Year 

 The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has said he was delighted that a Dublin housing development which featured the first purpose-built Cost Rental homes in Ireland has won the Social Housing Development of the Year at the National Property Awards.  Minister O’Brien  lauded the ‘Woodside’ scheme at Enniskerry Road, Stepaside, County Dublin, as a development where collaboration between various stakeholders showcased the type of innovative cost rental scheme that can be brought forward and gives the cost rental concept real substance and tangible impact on people’s lives.  

The scheme of 155 homes (50 cost rental and 105 social housing) was delivered by Respond and Tuath Approved Housing Bodies in partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Council, the Housing Agency and the Housing Finance Agency.

  ‘Woodside’, built on public land in Stepaside, is a unique development, a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom properties to be managed by Respond and Tuath Housing.  

All of the 50 Cost Rental homes are 2-bedroom apartments. The Cost Rental apartments will be let at a monthly rent of €1,200, a significant reduction when compared to market rents for 2-bedroom apartments in this location. The rent charged to tenants will cover the cost of delivering, managing and maintaining these homes and will not be driven by market movements.

 Minister O’Brien pointed out that Cost Rental is a new form of secure, long-term rental tenure where homes are made available to middle-income earners at below open-market rates. 


“The homes at ‘Woodside’ have rents of approximately 40% below open-market rates. Under Housing for All, the Government’s plan for housing, 18,000 Cost Rental homes will be provided between now and 2030,” he said. 


“Woodside, and other developments like it currently underway, show the delivery of affordable housing is happening and it’s making a positive difference. Ensuring there is affordable housing to rent is a Government priority. Cost Rental housing addresses the affordability challenges faced by those on moderate incomes who wish to rent a home. This model of housing is a new departure in the delivery of housing in Ireland, providing a new type of housing tenure in addition to social housing, private renting and private purchase. It provides renters with a long-term security of tenure with a rent level significantly below open-market rates.”


Minister O’Brien added:

“The tenanting of the superb Woodside development is the outcome of close and constructive collaboration between Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Respond, Tuath, the Housing Agency, the Housing Finance Agency and my own Department. I want to commend all involved in making these homes a reality for those who live in them now.” 


“When I was there earlier this month I was particularly impressed with how the site is located near to a wide range of amenities, public facilities, schools, health services, local community and sports groups. It was a well-designed, well laid out site in beautiful surroundings, and it is little wonder it picked up the award last night.”


Minister O’Brien added that a pipeline of Cost Rental housing is building up and more developments are due to come on stream shortly. “These developments will provide people with secure, affordable rental accommodation, and, as we deliver at scale, will help make Ireland’s housing market more affordable overall.”

 The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has approved funding through the Cost Rental Equity Loan (CREL) Scheme for the development of approximately 900 Cost Rental homes, to be delivered in 2022 and 2023 by Approved Housing Bodies. An average of 2,000 homes will be provided per year, by the AHBs, local authorities and the Land Development Agency (LDA) between now and 2030.  Where State funding is made available, rents are targeted to be delivered at 25% below market rates. 


Notes to Edito

Photos of 'Woodside' development available, please email Ronan at 


  • Cost rental is a new form of tenure in Ireland where residents pay rents that are solely based on the cost to build, manage, and maintain the homes. In Budget 2022, Minister O’Brien allocated €70m to develop 700 Cost Rental homes, to be delivered by AHBs through the Cost Rental Equity Loan (CREL) mechanism. CREL covers up to 30% of the capital costs of a development and is administered by the Housing Agency, on behalf of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage. The Housing Finance Agency (HFA) has also made financing available to support the remaining capital costs for delivery of Cost Rental homes.
  • Eligibility for Cost Rental is targeted to address the needs of middle-income earners (below €53,000 net household income).
  • The Woodside development at Enniskerry Road Project comprises 155 social and affordable homes, a community facility along with green spaces at Enniskerry Road, Stepaside, Dublin 18. The site is located near to a wide range of amenities, public facilities, schools, health services, local community and sports groups. The scheme includes 50 Cost Rental homes and 105 social homes to be apportioned between Respond (78 homes including 25 Cost Rental) and Tuath (77 homes including 25 Cost Rental). The homes are a mix of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom properties. All of the 50 Cost Rental homes will be 2-bedroom apartments.  The Cost Rental apartments will be let at a monthly rent of €1,200.
  • The project is the result of a collaboration between Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the Housing Agency, Respond and Tuath Housing Associations, and the Housing Finance Agency. The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government also provided financial support via the Serviced Sites Fund.
  • Due to the new nature of the Cost Rental tenure in Ireland, which was introduced via the Affordable Housing Act 2021, previous Cost Rental housing developments to date have resulted from acquisitions by Approved Housing Bodies of completed units. The Woodside development was commissioned for the purpose of providing Cost Rental and social housing.
  • Approved Housing Bodies are independent, not-for-profit organisations who, alongside Local Authorities, provide housing for people on the social housing waiting list or for particular groups, such as older people or homeless people. AHBs also include housing co-operatives, which are housing organisations controlled by their members/tenants who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions.
  • Local Authorities can avail of Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) funding to deliver Cost Rental themselves, or with other bodies on their behalf.
  • Under Project Tosaigh, the Land Development Agency will be providing Cost Rental homes in advance of their direct delivery of homes on their own sites over the coming years. They are also engaging in partnerships with Local Authorities, such as at Shanganagh, Co. Dublin, where it is anticipated construction on over 300 Cost Rental homes will begin later this year.


  • About Respond

Respond, an Approved Housing Body and service provider, has been working all around Ireland for 40 years. Their vision is that every family and individual in Ireland will have high‐quality housing as part of a vibrant and caring community. Housing and decent accommodation, in the areas where people want to live, are central to improving people’s lives and enhancing the health and well‐being of society.

Approximately 14,424 tenants live in 6,503 homes across the 26 counties that Respond either owns or manages; of these, there are 5,536 Respond social housing tenancies. Respond also provide a range of services for families and individuals within communities. This includes emergency accommodation with 24/7 support for families who are homeless in six Family Homeless Services, three Day Care Services for Older People, 17 Early Learning and School Aged Care, Family Support and Refugee Resettlement services. Respond's aim is to provide person centred services to support people to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.


  • About Tuath Housing

Tuath Housing is an Approved Housing Body (AHB) established in 2000 and awarded Voluntary Housing Status by the Department of the Environment, now Dept of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.  Tuath’s core social purpose is to help people across Ireland secure and maintain a home that is both safe and warm, and one that they can afford.The Association has rapidly grown since letting its first homes in late 2006 and now has over 8,500 properties nationwide providing homes to over 22,000 tenants. 

Tuath is governed by a Board of Directors with a broad range of business skills and commitment to social outcomes required to run a growing AHB. They employ more than 135 staff across four regional offices who are overseen by an experienced management team with skills in tenancy management, project management, financial management, human resources, legal and communications.

Tuath are an award-winning housing provider and are members of the Irish Council for Social Housing, the Housing Alliance, and the Chartered Institute of Housing.

They strongly believe in the importance and value of working in partnership with their many stakeholders to deliver more homes to more people, creating communities across the country. 





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