Housing Financing Agency Gives €434 Mil. for Student Beds
|23 November, 2023
The government has announced a funding agreement with the European Investment Bank. The plan is to give €434 million for new student beds.
Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris and Minister for Housing Darragh O'Brien have stated that a €434 million investment will be given for student accommodation.
This money will help the higher education institutions (HEIs) provide over 2,700 student beds all over Ireland.
The Housing Financing Agency (HFA) and European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed that a €434 million financing initiative will greatly help fund higher education institutions. It will also help in building new, affordable student housing. This will include the reconstruction of accommodation options at Irish universities.
“This is fantastic news for Irish universities and their students, and I want to pay tribute to the EIB and HFA for delivering this important agreement,” Harris said.
He continued, “Every student bed we create has a double benefit. It helps the student and their family, but it also frees up private rental accommodation in our cities and towns.”
He added, “This investment by the EIB and HFA will have significant benefits for access to education and, crucially, for the wider housing market.”
Concluding his speech, he said, “This announcement will assist institutions with the cost of building accommodation and help bridge the gap between viability and affordability for students. Applications will now open, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of this important partnership.”
This amount of money is considered the first-ever student housing funding agreement between the EIB and HFA. There is a 40-year €200 million loan from the EIB, in addition to the HFA matching the investment, bringing the total to €434 million.
The EIB and HFA’s announcement comes in hand with a €61 million funding announcement from the government. They both play a huge role in the development of over 1,000 beds across four Irish universities.
O’Brien stated, “This government is focused on scaling up the supply of all types of housing and accommodation, including student accommodation, which we know is so badly needed.”
He also added, “The HFA is already playing a significant role in facilitating the delivery of thousands of social and affordable homes throughout the country. So, it is well placed to play a lead role in improving the supply of student accommodation. I want to commend everyone involved in this historic agreement.”
The HFA is known to have delivered over 2,400 student beds across Ireland, with the EIB providing €950 million for housing investment by the HFA.
This started in 2021, when the HFA began to provide financing to higher education institutions to support the delivery of student accommodation. It has also been given approval to add technological universities. With the help of the university and the technological university sector, there is a development plan in the process.
Barry O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Finance Agency, said, “We had the pleasure of visiting new student accommodation delivered by the University of Galway and Trinity College Dublin in recent months and were impressed by the quality and innovation of the developments.”
He added, “We are proud to support these housing schemes with financing, and we are eager to work with higher education institutions to facilitate the delivery of more high-quality, affordable student accommodation across the country”.
“This latest cooperation between the HFA and the EIB will ensure that long-term, competitive financing is available for new student housing projects over the next five years.”
Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank, added, “The European Investment Bank is committed to backing visionary investment that strengthens access to education across Europe and, over the last decade, has supported transformational investment at hundreds of Irish schools and all Irish universities, as well as the construction of social housing across the country.
Werner Hoyer added to his previous statements, ”The €200 million 40-year EIB financing agreed with our long-standing partner HFA today will build new student accommodation across Ireland, providing students with better and more affordable places to live and reducing pressure on local housing.”