EIB and HFA back construction of new accommodation for thousands of students across Ireland

  • Financing of EUR 434 million to support the delivery of more than 2,700 new high quality, affordable student beds in Ireland
  • EUR 200 million long-term European Investment Bank financing to support accommodation construction and refurbishment investment at Irish universities and technological universities agreed during EIB President’s visit to Ireland
  • First ever dedicated student accommodation funding deal  between European Investment Bank and Housing Finance Agency welcomed by Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) today agreed a new EUR 434 million student accommodation financing initiative to support higher education institutions in the development of affordable student housing. The new scheme, backed by a forty-year EUR 200 million European Investment Bank loan, is expected to support the delivery of at least 2,700 new student beds across Ireland.

The first dedicated EIB backing for student construction and renovation of student accommodation in Ireland was formally agreed in Dublin today by EIB President Werner Hoyer and HFA CEO Barry O’Leary, and welcomed by Minister for Further and Higher Education Simon Harris, at a signature ceremony at HFA headquarters in Dublin.

Speaking today, Minister Harris said: “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.

“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. This investment by the EIB and HFA will have significant benefits for access to education, and crucially to the wider housing market.”

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien also welcomed the announcement: “This Government is focussed on scaling up the supply of all types of housing and accommodation, including student accommodation which we know is so badly needed.

“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.”

Announcing the deal, Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank said:

“The European Investment Bank is committed to backing investment that facilitates access to education across Europe. Over the last decade we have supported transformational investment at hundreds of Irish schools and all Irish universities, as well as construction of social housing across the country. The €200 million 40-year EIB financing agreed with our long-standing partner HFA today will help provide students with better and more affordable places to live and reduce pressure on local housing.”

Barry O’Leary, Chief Executive Officer of the Housing Finance Agency commented:

“The Housing Finance Agency was delighted to welcome President Hoyer to Dublin to mark the establishment of this significant new student housing finance package. 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. 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.”

The new initiative will provide long-term financing to Irish higher education institutions to support both construction of new modern and energy efficient accommodation buildings and renovation of existing buildings to improve facilities and energy efficiency. The EIB backing will reduce financing costs for universities and enable lower monthly rents for students living in new accommodation.

The HFA is the Irish government agency responsible for providing financing to support social and affordable housing. In 2021 the HFA was empowered to provide financing to Higher Education Institutions to support the delivery of student accommodation and more recently received approval to extend this lending to Technological Universities.

To date, the HFA has approved financing of EUR 261.2 million to support the delivery of 2,403 student beds.

Discussions are already underway with Irish universities and technological universities about the provision of financing from this new fund to support the construction of additional student housing.

Over the last decade the European Investment Bank has provided EUR 950 million for housing investment by the HFA.


Background information:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is the long-term lending institution of the European Union owned by its Member States. It makes long-term finance available for sound investment in order to contribute towards EU policy goals.

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