Voluntary housing association Circle to build 250 homes

Social and affordable housing will be built using €51 million AIB loan

The social housing scheme will be backed by a three-part loan from AIB. File image:  Alan Betson / The Irish Times

The social housing scheme will be backed by a three-part loan from AIB. File image: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

More than 250 social and affordable homes are expected to be built across the State over the next year, at a cost of €51 million, by voluntary housing association Circle.

The scheme will be backed by a three-part loan from AIB, over a 30-year period, which includes a revolving credit facility, a term loan and a working capital facility.

Circle said the nature of the agreed package, structured by financial advisors Centrus, allows the housing association to to re-use the borrowed funds at any time over the period of the loan, providing a safeguard for ongoing speedy development of social housing.

The deal is “now the largest private financing package to any approved housing body in the country,” Circle said. “It is hoped that the initial 250 properties are the first of many thousands to be developed in the coming years in areas such as Greater Dublin Area, Cork, Limerick, Waterford Kildare and Galway.”

Circle chief executive John Hannigan described the deal as an “historic agreement” which would deliver homes “in a matter of months” across several counties.

“This innovative public-private partnership approach is what is needed to solve the housing crisis and now with our 30-year agreement and our existing structures, we estimate we will be able to bring approximately 300 social houses to the market each year,” he said.

“What we have achieved is a modern approach to financing that has never been accomplished in this sector before. It is a sustainable model which will benefit thousands of families over the course of many years due to the revolving nature of the credit, allowing us to expand and provide additional homes on an ongoing basis.”

Circle Voluntary Housing Association was set up in 2003 and now operates in 28 schemes across Dublin and Kildare, providing housing to approved applicants on local authority housing waiting lists.