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Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan TD, today signalled significant reform of the social housing sector by announcing that a voluntary Code of Practice, for the regulation of the voluntary and co-operative housing sector will be published for consultation in the coming weeks. She also highlighted her intention to have the finalised Code in operation by September of this year and to introduce legislation to give effect to a statutory code in 2014.

Given the fact the old method of constructing large council housing estates has become out-dated, “new models of delivery, involving the voluntary and co-operative sector, provide greater flexibility and facilitate a wider tenancy mix, whereby the old divide between private and public housing is fundamentally changed”, the Minister stressed. 

Thus, the new voluntary Code “provides a framework for best practice in areas such as audit, organisational structure and reporting of key targets such as service level criteria.  The learning gained from the implementation of the voluntary Code will provide critical inputs as the statutory code is developed in the near future.”

She continued: “Regulation of the sector will safeguard the significant public monies that are now directed towards the voluntary and co-operative sector. It will also provide a clear, defined level of accountability for tenants, neighbours and other stakeholders. Importantly it will enable the sector leverage additional capital for a variety of private sources and encourage long-term planning in the sector.”

The Minister was speaking today at the launch of the Túath Annual Report for 2011. Túath Housing, established in 2000, aims to meet a wide variety of housing needs in Ireland by providing accommodation for single people, families and those with special needs.