Initiative Ireland to Lend €600m to Build 5,000 New Homes Nationwide Over Next 3-years

Pictured (l-r) Sinead Byrne, COO, Initiative Ireland, Padraig W. Rushe, CEO, Initiative Ireland and Darragh O'Brien TD, Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage. (Credit: Mark Harrison, Harrison Photography & Media).

Initiative Ireland to Lend €600m to Build 5,000 New Homes Nationwide Over Next 3-years

- Irish Property Lender chosen by Fairfield Real Estate Finance as a joint venture partner to enter the Housing Construction Finance Market in Ireland

- Initiative Ireland aims to finance the delivery of 5,000 new homes working with small, medium and large-scale developers to deliver residential housing to the market over next 3-years

- Joint venture expected to create 20 finance roles at Initiative Ireland and support over 3,000 construction jobs across Ireland

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O'Brien TD has welcomed today’s announcement by Initiative Ireland of its new sustainable finance partnership, for the construction of residential homes, with Fairfield Real Estate Finance.

Through this partnership, Initiative Ireland will significantly increase the scale of its lending activity by €600 million enabling small, medium and large-scale developers to deliver 5,000 new homes nationwide, over the next 3-years, supporting over 3,000 construction jobs and creating 20 new finance jobs at Initiative Ireland.

Initiative Ireland, which specialises in funding social, affordable and mid-market housing developments nationwide, is an impact finance company with a focus on delivering environmental and social impact through ethical and innovative financial solutions.

Supported by Enterprise Ireland as a High Potential Start-Up and headquartered at NovaUCD, the company aims to deliver financially inclusive and sustainable products to tackle social and environmental challenges.

To date, Initiative Ireland has funded housing projects which were financed exclusively through their impact investor community, comprising of private investors, businesses, and fund clients.

This has supported over €50 million of new social and affordable housing nationwide. Under the new venture, Initiative Ireland shall maintain its community lending programme, which promotes financial inclusion, while also targeting a further €600 million in lending over the next 3-years for the new partnership programme.  

Minister Darragh O’Brien TD said, “I welcome news of increased funding competition within the Irish Finance Market, to support the delivery of social and affordable housing, in addition to the creation of new jobs. It is also great to see Enterprise Ireland-backed companies, such as Initiative Ireland, successfully attracting and building partnerships with globally recognised firms, delivering and supporting new jobs here in Ireland as we work to stabilise the jobs and housing market.”

Padraig W. Rushe, CEO, Initiative Ireland said, “Over the last five years, we’ve worked with our impact investor community to deliver housing projects across the country, for social and environmental impact. We’ve built strong relationships with our borrowers and partners. We understand the urgent need for fair and flexible finance, and we aim to work with new borrowers to bring sustainability to the Irish Housing Market, helping to make housing security more accessible for everyone.”  

In August 2020 the company announced a new partnership with the Credit Union Development Association (CUDA), which will enable Irish Credit Unions to provide funding to Approved Housing Bodies across Ireland. Between the CUDA partnership and the partnership announced today, Initiative Ireland is now positioned to deliver over €1.5 billion of funding to the market over the next 5 years.

Chris Wilson, CEO, Fairfield Real Estate said, “At Fairfield we work to support experienced commercial property developers and owners across the UK and Ireland with competitive and flexible finance. We have exclusively partnered with Initiative Ireland to provide the same value to residential developers, leveraging Initiative Ireland’s specialist skills and residential focus. We are proud to be joining their Impact Investor community.”

Sinead Byrne, COO, Initiative Ireland said, “As a sustainable finance company, we are focused on supporting projects that reflect the underlying need for housing. We are especially focused on private housing offered at affordable or mid-market prices or social housing, because we understand the market. We also understand the challenges faced by those developers and we’re committed to working with them to overcome obstacles and deliver energy-efficient housing for everyday people across Ireland.”


24 May 2021

For more information contact Micéal Whelan, Communications and Media Relations Manager, UCD Research and Innovation, e: or Padraig W. Rushe, CEO, Initiative Ireland, t: +353 1 685 9259 or e:

Editors Notes

Initiative Financial Services trading as Initiative Ireland is a private (Irish owned) financial services company and social enterprise, focused on delivering societal and environmental impact through finance and investments. It is a signatory of the UN Principles of Responsible Investing and is committed to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The company represents an Impact Investor Community of Funds, Businesses, Pensions and Private Investor who share their values. The company has been recognised internationally for their work to deliver societal and environmental impact.   

Fairfield Real Estate Finance Services Limited specialises in providing finance for commercial property loans. Founded in 2016, the company has lent over €1.25Bn with backing from Oaktree Capital Management since formation. The Company offers senior and stretched senior debt solutions to commercial property owners and developers. Fairfield Real Estate Finance Services serves customers in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.  

CUDA, the Credit Union Development Association, was legally incorporated in 2003. In its early days it was the representative voice, on behalf of its owner member credit unions, with legislators and regulators. It has since evolved and now, as well as providing a ‘voice’, it is increasingly providing support facilities in the areas of regulatory compliance, risk management, shared services, and competency development. CUDA is a credit union owned network that enables member credit unions to engage in beneficial activities which would not have proved possible to do as single stand-alone entities.  

At NovaUCD, the hub for new ventures and entrepreneurs at University College Dublin, we nurture and support new high-tech companies as part of UCD's mission. At NovaUCD we provide purpose-built, state-of-the-art incubation facilities alongside a comprehensive business support program for client companies such as Initiative Ireland. NovaUCD has been funded through a unique public-private partnership that includes AIB Bank, Arthur Cox, Deloitte, Enterprise Ireland, Ericsson, Goodbody Stockbrokers, UCD and Xilinx.   

Enterprise Ireland is the Government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. The organisation works in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate and win export sales in global markets.