What is an Approved Housing Body (AHB)?
Approved Housing Bodies (AHB) (include Housing Associations and Co-operatives) provide and manage social rented housing. They are not for profit organisations formed for the purpose of relieving housing need.
Under Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1992, bodies must obtain ‘approved status’ from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. A body seeking to obtain, and to retain, approved status must: -
- have as primary objective the relief of housing need, or poverty or hardship or the welfare of Travellers, and the provision and management of housing,
- have in its memorandum of association or registered rules, provisions prohibiting the distribution of any surplus, profit, bonus or dividend to members and requiring that the assets of the body be applied solely towards its objects.
There are approximately 520 Approved Housing Bodies in Ireland with a stock size of over 30,000 units. AHBs provide housing in response to a range of different needs including families on low incomes, households with special needs, such as older persons, people with disabilities and homeless persons. AHBs work in partnership with Local Authorities. AHBs take nominations from the Local Authority's social housing waiting list to fill available accommodation provided by the AHB.
What does the Residential Tenancies Act mean for the AHB’s?
Housing Associations were given a period of 12 months from the commencement of the Act, for the initial registration of their tenancies at a reduced cost (€45 for a period of 12 months only). Since April 2017 the normal fees and penalties apply for all registrations apply.
In addition, housing associations and their tenants will have access to the dispute resolution services of the RTB, via mediation or adjudication, which are currently only open to private sector tenancies.