More than 500 people apply for 25 homes in State’s first cost-rental scheme

Clúid offering homes at rents between €935 and €1,150 a month in Balbriggan

More than 500 people have applied to become tenants of 25 homes in Balbriggan in just 24 hours since the State's first cost-rental housing scheme was advertised.

Housing association Clúid is offering the two-, three- and four-bedroom houses in the newly built Taylor’s Hill estate to the west of the town at rents between €935 and €1,150 a month, almost half of local market rents for similar properties.

The application system was opened at 9am on Wednesday and by 9am on Thursday 550 keen potential tenants had signed up. With applications already more than 20 times in excess of the number of homes, Clúid will run a lottery in one week’s time to select tenants. Despite already being oversubscribed, Clúid will continue to accept applications through its website until July 14th.

Under the cost-rental system, rents are based on the cost of building, managing and maintaining the homes, and not market rates. The scheme is aimed at workers who earn too much to qualify for social housing supports, but who cannot afford to buy or rent on the open market.


Tenant conditions

To be eligible for the Balbriggan houses prospective tenants must have a net household income of no more than €53,000 per annum; not to be in receipt of any social housing supports; and not own a property.

They must also have a household size that matches the size of the property, so the houses are not under- or over-occupied. For the two bedroom house, the minimum number of residents is two adults, or an adult and child. The three-bedroom house is suitable for three adults, or a parent or parents with two or more children, while the four-bedroom house fits four adults or a parent/parents with three or more children.

Applicants must also be able to show they can afford to pay the rent, with Clúid carrying out an “affordability test” to ensure the rent is not more than 35 per cent of the net household income, unless the applicant can demonstrate they paid the same rent or higher for the preceding two years without defaulting.

Lottery allocation

Only one application per household can be submitted for a property. “Anyone applying multiple times will be disqualified from the lottery,” Clúid said.

Applicants will be notified within five working days after the lottery, whether they have been successful or not.

The tenancy is for a minimum of one year and up to six years. “Provided there are no issues with breach of tenancy or rent arrears, it will automatically roll over after that,” Clúid said. The houses are unfurnished apart from kitchen appliances.

The 25 houses are the first of 440 cost-rental homes expected to be provided by the end of this year in Dublin, Kildare and Cork. Tenants will pay rents that are at least 25 per cent below the local average.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times