Minister Murphy Announces New Reforms to Regulate Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs)

The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Mr Eoghan Murphy, today (30  July) announced that The Government recently approved the text and publication of the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Bill 2019.

Welcoming the Government decision to approve the publication of the Approved Housing Bodies Bill, Minister Murphy said:

“Housing Bodies are playing a critical role in providing social housing in tandem with local authorities. It’s part of our new and more sustainable approach to social house building. We are no longer vulnerable to one source for housing delivery, like we were in the past. Housing bodies receive significant taxpayer funding, work with local authorities, and take people off the housing list and out of homelessness. Because of this it’s important that there is an independent and legally established regulator for the sector. This legislation will provide for that, and a lot more.”

The Bill provides for the regulation of Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) for the purposes of ensuring the proper governance and the financial viability of that sector. This is to ensure that the State’s contribution towards AHBs in relation to housing assets are  safeguarded.  Similarly, the Bill will provide assurance to tenants, the public, and investors that the Sector is well regulated.

The Bill provides for the establishment of the independent Approved Housing Bodies Regulatory Authority (the Regulator) and assigns the following functions to it:

  • the registration of AHBs;
  • setting standards for AHBs, subject to the approval of the Minister;
  • monitoring and assessing compliance by AHBs with the standards prepared by the Regulator;
  • undertaking investigations into AHBs;
  • the cancellation of registration of AHBs where appropriate; and
  • the right to seek court orders to protect the assets of  AHBs in certain circumstances.

The Bill also provides for an appeals system for AHBs against certain decisions of the Approved Housing Bodies Regulator.