Carbery Housing Association - Coiste Tithe Chaibre

Help with urgent fundraising appeal to keep families in their homes. 

I am writing on behalf of Carbery Housing Association to ask for your help on an urgent matter.

Carbery Housing Association (CHA) is an association of local people, coming together to develop and provide housing and associated amenities,  for a range of households that were excluded from the housing market, on the basis of partnership with local authorities and community organisations, and aiming at a high level of energy efficiency and sustainability. CHA is currently manages properties secured on long-term leases from private owners, and rented to families nominated by the local authority from their housing list, at means-tested "council-equivalent" rents.  CHA has applied and been approved as an Approved Housing Body (AHB) for the Government's Mortgages to Rents Initiative, where owner-occupiers who are unable to repay their mortgages can opt for mortgages being transferred to an AHB, on the understanding that they will remain in their homes as permanent tenants of the Association. CHA is currently negotiating the purchase of 20 properties in Cork City and County under this programme.  For further detailed information on the Mortgages to Rent Initiative, please see the following dedicated web site set up by the Housing Agency and the DHPLG, www.mortgagetorent.ie.

We have now come to a stage where we require your urgent support.

We have 7 properties surveyed and 13 more allocated by the Housing Agency under this Programme. The total cost of purchase of these 7 properties is 851,500 EUR. The Housing Agency (DHPLG) has further agreed a subsidy of 210,685 EUR on their purchase. The AIB bank last week has issued a Loan Offer for 615,815 EUR on a term of 20 years at 4.5% interest. However, they have placed the condition on the loan that we must contribute the balance, that is 25,000 EUR out of our own funds or donations, towards this purchase, or approximately 3,500 EUR per house purchased. The reason for this is the Banks rules on loan to value ratios.

It is therefore absolutely essential for the future of these families and the project that we raise the 25,000 EUR required as soon as possible, to allow the purchases to complete any donation at this point would help CHA to purchase some or all of these properties, on the basis of one property purchased for every 3,500 EUR donation. The occupants have been waiting for some months for a decision on this, so their situation is quite pressing.  Please help us finis what we have started and help us to provide an appropriate future for these families.

We would welcome a) any donation you can make or b) any suggestions on who we could apply to for the donations required, or any way in which the additional funding could be pursued.

Please see our crowdfunding site at: 


Many thanks for your support.

Kind regards


José Ospina


Tel (+353) 28 21890

Mobile (+353) 86 8224429



Carbery Housing Association and Leasing Privately Owned Properties

CHA is a non-profit company with Charitable Status and has Approved Housing Body status with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. It was set up in 2001, on the initiative of local residents in Baltimore, a town  where holiday home developments was pushing house prices out of the reach of local people. 

The original Mission Statement of Carbery Housing Association was:

 “The provision of housing and associated amenities for a range of groups that re excluded from the housing market, on the basis of partnership with local authorities and community organisations, and aiming at a high level of energy efficiency and sustainability”

As of the now, the Association has added the words “and in partnership with property owners” into the Mission Statement. 

CHA is community organisation, where anyone having a genuine interest in the work of the Association can join as a Member, can participate in the work of the Association as a volunteer, and stand for election to the Executive Committee.

From 2001 onward, CHA tried unsuccessfully to develop a number of affordable and sustainable social housing projects in the West Cork region.  These never materialised, in spite of the many efforts of people both inside and outside CHA over the years. 

In 2009 the housing bubble imploded and Ireland’s Celtic Tiger period was over. The results of this collapse were free-fall house prices, bankruptcies and at least 290 thousand empty homes (confirmed by the last national census).

Every crisis in an opportunity waiting to happen. But this collapse has turned out to be an opportunity for CHA to be able to become active on behalf of the groups they aim to serve.

Faced with a severe cut back new building, but still needing to house a growing number of households, the government introduced Social Housing Leasing Scheme for Approved Housing Bodies, in the SHIP N5/09 Circular of September 2009. 

CHA took the decision that our aims would be best met by changing course and adopting this new Initiative wholeheartedly, and focusing our efforts on finding new and innovative ways of using empty houses.

The Leasing initiative is explained in more detail on the Leasing section of this site.

To date has been offered and inspected around 20 possible properties for possible leasing. So far they have obtained full approval for leasing 6 properties, 5 apartments and a house, all in Drimoleague. They are currently seeking approval of a further 3 one-bedroom flats in Drimoleague, and a 3-bedroom house in Kichronahe. They are also surveying further properties in Dunmanway, Durrus and Owenahincha. The response from owners to date has been encouraging, and CHA are confident that their private leasing initiative will steadily grow, and provide an increasing number of good quality affordable homes for people that need them all mover the County in the coming months and years, in spite of (or because of) the Recession..

But they need your help to make this happen!

They need properties – for this scheme to work we need to get the word around to as many owners of properties as possible, that in this initiative they have the opportunity lease their properties securely for relatively long period, and get a guaranteed return for this letting. Also to have the satisfaction of knowing that their property is being used to meet a real social need

They need funding  - each house survey to date has cost us approximately € 500 per property and this is not taking into account the considerable cost of legal fees in drawing up and revising the many complex legal agreements involved. We have been kept going so far by a donation o € 4,000 from the Community Foundation for Ireland and fundraising by members. But this is now running out and we need to raise more funds.

They need housing applicants – people that cannot afford to buy or rent affordably on the open market must ensure that they are on the Council housing list if they are eligible and that the Council is aware that they are interested din being h9oused in Leased housing managed by CHA.

They need members and volunteers – the work done to date to get this far has been done by people working on a purely voluntary basis, because they believe that in building a healthy communities and community resilience, so important in times of cutback and recession. CHA needs more volunteers to do this work. They believe that if all sectors of the community work together, without recriminations and negativity, we can greatly improve the situation for everyone with the resources are available It just needs the will to work together to make it happen.

CHA is committed to providing housing, but is also determined to develop complimentary initiatives for the benefit of tenants and the community. They would like to support and develop related initiatives involving growing of food, providing childcare, and repairing empty properties that owners would like to lease  but cannot afford to repair the standard required for letting, CHA plans to work on developing such initiatives over the coming years

When asked if their original aspiration of building sustainable communities has been put aside in focusing on long-term leasing. CHA affirms that it has not. They will continue to explore and develop alternatives for permanent sustainable housing within co-housing and community framework, incorporating self-build and green building. But at present they see long-term leasing and maximum use of empty properties as a fundamental step towards achieving that vision.



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