Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are independent, not-for-profit organisations that provide affordable rented housing for people who cannot afford to pay rent or buy their own homes; or for particular groups, such as older people or homeless people.
AHBs also include housing co-operatives, which are controlled by their members/tenants who actively participate in setting their policies and making decisions.
How to qualify
Applications for approved status will be considered from the following:
Limited Companies formed by guarantee of their members and not having a shareholding, registered under the Companies Act 2014
societies registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Acts, 1893 – 2014
trusts incorporated under the Charities Acts
A body seeking to obtain, and to retain, approved status must:
have as its goal, the relief of housing needs, to assist with cases of poverty or hardship, including the welfare of Travellers, and the delivery and management of housing
have in its Memorandum and Articles of Association or registered rules, provisions preventing the distribution of any surplus, profit, bonus or dividend to its members
ensure that its assets are applied solely towards its objects
AHBs are subject to regulation under various codes including the Companies Acts, Charities Act and the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts.
All AHB’s are required to sign up to the Code by completing the Charter of Commitments.
The Code will assist housing bodies to improve their governance, management and financial capabilities and will facilitate better oversight of the AHB sector.
All correspondence relating to the Code, including signed Charters of Commitments should be directed to the Housing Agency at the contact details provided below:
the Memorandum and Articles of Association, rules or constitution of the body seeking approval, together with a copy of its certificate of incorporation or registration
the names and address of its officers and of all the members of its governing body or board of directors or trustees, the address of its registered office and the address of the secretary, if different from the registered office
a description of its existing and/or proposed activities, plans or programmes
a written statement from both the relevant Local Authority and the ICSH or Co-operative Housing Ireland to confirm that the ‘new’ body – if given AHB status – would be meeting a need that is not already being addressed by any extant AHB or have the potential to deliver on a scale that is not currently being achieved by an extant AHB
information on its current financial position, including latest statements of audited accounts, if available
Section 6 (6) (e) of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1992 empowers the Minister to withdraw approved status.
AHBs wishing to apply to the Minister to rescind their status should note the following considerations:
if your organisation has property with active social housing tenancies or is in receipt of assistance from a local authority in accordance with Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 then it will not be possible to rescind approved status until such time as these properties are transferred to an appropriate body. Please contact the Department if you require further information in this regard.
if approved status is rescinded, then the organisation will no longer be eligible for assistance in accordance with Section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992.
it is important to note that if status is rescinded, the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019 allows for an organisation to apply for AHB status, should the need arise, in the future, subject to eligibility criteria
If you wish to apply to rescind AHB status please complete the application form and return it to
AHB Policy and Regulation Section
Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Newtown Road, Wexford, Y35 AP90