First ‘cost rental’ homes under new agency include two-beds for €1,455 per month

The agency says the prices at the Archers’ Wood development in Delgany are pitched at 30% below comparable open market prices

The initial phase of the Land Development Agency’s first “cost rental” housing scheme, a development of 142 new homes at less than market rents, has been over subscribed within days of its launch.

Cost rental is a form of affordable housing that links rents to the cost of construction as opposed to the rent the new homes might attract if placed on the open market.

The first cost rental scheme to be offered by the agency is part of the Archers’ Wood development in Delgany, Co Wicklow. In a deal with developers Cairn Homes, the agency is offering 48 two- and three-bedroom duplexes in the first phase with 94 one-bed apartments to follow early this year.

Rents for two-bedroom apartments start at €1,455 per month and three-bedroom apartments are to cost in the region of €1,600. The target market is middle-income households that have an income of less than €53,000 net but who do not qualify for social housing or any rental supports.


The agency said the prices were pitched at 30 per cent below comparable average open market prices in the area. It said the scheme was “a step forward” in its mission to help deliver affordable rents at scale, which is the start of a pipeline of 5,000 cost rental and affordable purchase homes to be delivered under the agency’s Project Tosaigh initiative.

Project Tosaigh is a programme designed to help unlock planning-approved sites for delivery as affordable homes. This will be supplemented by delivery on State lands, including a Shanganagh, Shankill, project for 597 homes that commenced recently.

Some 48 new homes opened for applications at Archers’ Wood in late November, and were oversubscribed with 150 applications received. A further 94 one-bedroom homes will be offered in early 2023.

Among its portfolio of projects Project Tosaigh aims to unlock land in private ownership that has planning permission but where delivery has stalled due to financing and other constraints. An expression of interest process was launched at the end of 2021, and the Land Development Agency now has a pipeline of projects anticipated to deliver some 1,000 affordable for sale and cost rental homes.

Project Tosaigh is being run in addition to about 5,000 to 6,000 homes that the Land Development Agency is advancing for delivery from its existing portfolio of State-sourced development sites. These schemes are at various stages of the development process, ranging from awaiting planning decision to being under construction now. In the medium to longer term capacity for a further 10,000 to 15,000 homes are anticipated from the transfer of additional State lands announced in the Government’s Housing For All strategy last September.

Further land development projects in the pipeline include:

  • 597 social and affordable homes on the Land Development Agency’s project at Shanganagh, Co Dublin: planning permission has been approved and a contractor, Walls Construction, has been appointed. Construction has commenced with the first homes due to be completed this year;
  • 944 homes at Dundrum central in south Dublin. Public consultation has been completed for the redevelopment of the Central Mental Hospital site;
  • Cork City Docklands: A delivery office has been established for the redevelopment of Cork City Docklands in partnership with Cork City Council. The 146-hectare site is capable of accommodating about 25,000 people in what will be Ireland’s largest regeneration project;
  • Colbert Station, Limerick. A design review has been completed to inform the regeneration of this 50-hectare site, which will deliver housing for about 5,000 people;
  • Sandy Road, Galway. Plans for 1,000 new homes are in progress on an 8-hectare site in collaboration with a range of local stakeholders including Galway city and county councils, Galway Education and Training Board and Galway Bay FM;
  • Donore Project, Dublin 8: The Land Development Agency and Dublin City Council have submitted a planning application to An Bord Pleanála to build 543 homes on the site of the former St Teresa’s Gardens flat complex in Dublin 8;
  • St Kevin’s, Cork Planning permission approved for the construction of 265 homes, an enterprise centre and creche facilities at the former St Kevin’s Hospital site in Shanakiel, Cork. Enabling works are due to be completed this month and a tender for phase 1 of the development has been released to a list of pre-qualified contractors.

John Coleman, the agency’s chief executive, said it has been working “to create a pipeline of projects and to enable them for delivery by working on designs and planning consents.

“From a standing start our work to date has us well positioned to commence the delivery of big new homes projects,” he said, adding that the agency intends “to build on our position as a key State entity driving affordable housing supply and strategic land management”.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist