Legislation & Commencement Timelines
The act has now been fully commenced, the remaining sections of the legislation were commenced by the Minister in July 2022.
It is strongly recommended that AHBs familiarise themselves with the legislation, the registration framework, and eligibility criteria.
Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019
The Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019 was signed into law on 23 December 2019.
This Act provides for the regulation of Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) for the purposes of supporting stronger governance, financial viability and oversight of AHBs’ tenancy and asset management, with a particular focus on safeguarding the significant public investment in the delivery of social housing by AHBs. The newly established AHBRA is expected to provide stronger assurance to tenants, the public and potential investors that the sector is sustainable, stable and well regulated.
The legislation provides for the establishment of an Approved Housing Bodies Regulatory Authority (AHBRA) 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 AHBs’ compliance with the standards
- Undertaking investigations into AHBs, where necessary
- 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 legislation provides for existing AHBs approved under section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 to be deemed registered initially and to then apply to be retained on the register within a specified period depending on the number of dwellings the AHB is providing or managing.
The new regulatory structure replaces the current system established under section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992, which provides that the Minister may approve a body to receive assistance from local authorities for the provision of housing in accordance with the Housing Acts.
Legislation & Timelines
The Regulation of Providers of Building Works and Miscellaneous Provisions Act (which was signed into law on 5th July 2022) includes an amendment to Section 34 of the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019. This amendment relates to the timeframe deemed AHBs have to register with AHBRA.
This amendment specifically relates to subsection (6) of section 34 of the 2019 Act as follows:
(a) in paragraph (a), by the substitution of “2 years” for “12 months”,
(b) in paragraph (b), by the substitution of “3 years” for “2 years”,
(c) in paragraph (c), by the substitution of “4 years” for “3 years”, and
(d) in paragraph (d), by the substitution of “4 years” for “3 years”.
Commencement & Timelines
- Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019
- Commencements to date:
- SI 188 of 2020
- SI 25 of 2021
- SI 27 of 2021
- SI 320 of 2021
- SI 728 of 2021
- SI 307 of 2022
- Amendments to the Act:
- Part 12 of Act 15 of 2022
- Approved Housing Bodies Regulatory Authority established 1 February 2021
- Chair & Board Appointed – 11 February 2021