The vastly wealthy European Investment Bank is launching a new scheme to build social housing alongside the Government.
The EIB will lend to private developers who will build houses, and then lease them out as social housing for 30 years.
Two projects have been identified – one in Dublin and Cork.
“It’s an innovative way of delivering infrastructure sometimes a little bit more rapidly, and obviously at least expense to the State, said EIB vice president Andrew McDowell, a former chief economics adviser to ex Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
“The first project will be in Dublin, the next project will be in Cork and then we’ll be looking at a third project somewhere else in the country.”
He said it would be the first public-private partnership for the provision of social housing in Europe.
“We’re excited about that transaction and we hope it’s going to lead to further EIB support for social housing in the coming years.”
The EIB – owned by the EU member states – is designed to provide competitively priced finance for “economically viable projects that promote EU policy objectives”.