Housing body on track to triple number of social and cost-rental homes under construction

Respond says model of buying sites and entering contracts with developers allows for cost savings and increased output

The approved housing body, Respond, is on track to triple the number of social and cost-rental homes it will have in construction to more than 4,100 in the coming months, it has said.

The organisation’s construction programme is to expand to €2 billion over the coming year as, supported by local authorities, it has secured fixed-price contracts with a number of leading developers and building contractors to construct large, mixed-tenure housing projects in Dublin and Cork, it said.

“With Government support, the organisation could deliver 700 of these new homes this year and a further 900 by the end of 2024,” it said in a statement. “Respond’s home building programme currently has 1,396 social and cost-rental homes in construction across the country.”

The organisation’s annual report for 2022, which is to be launched on Tuesday by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien, will detail the continued positive impact Respond’s home building and community support services have in cities across Ireland, it said.


“Respond has begun construction on 3,347 homes since March 2018, and now manages 7,084 properties providing homes for 16,541 tenants. While challenged by rising construction sector costs, last year alone it delivered 484 new social and cost-rental homes and commenced construction of a further 460 homes.”

The organisation’s projects include the final completion of large mixed-tenure developments at Charlestown, Finglas (138 homes) and Enniskerry Road, Stepaside (155 homes). It is also working on a Long Mile Road development, which will provide 153 homes when completed later this year, the organisation said.

The body buys sites and finances construction by way of fixed-price contracts, with 85 per cent of its development schemes being construction-led. This model, Respond says, allows it to save up to €60,000 per unit compared to a housing-acquisition model.

“Our annual report details the ongoing effort and commitment of our development and housing teams to help alleviate the urgent need for more social and cost-rental housing across the country and to support the Government’s Housing for All strategy,” a spokesperson for Respond said.

“Our focus is on adding to the national housing stock, and the fixed-price contracts we have agreed with several developers mean we could quickly triple the number of social and cost-rental homes we have in construction to 4,100, with Government support. These are large-scale, development projects which will provide the volume of homes desperately needed, while also building inclusive, long-term, sustainable communities.”

The spokesperson said the sites were ideally placed in the State’s biggest cities and close to amenities including schools, parks, public transport routes and commercial centres.

Colm Keena

Colm Keena

Colm Keena is an Irish Times journalist. He was previously legal-affairs correspondent and public-affairs correspondent