Qualifying and Non-Qualifying Costs

This list of qualifying and non-qualifying costs - cannot be considered exhaustive and the Association is advised to seek the guidance of the NIHE (DPG) on items over which there is any doubt before expenditure is incurred.

Qualifying Costs - the costs that can be considered for Housing Association Grant can be found at Calculating Grant - Table 1. Breakdown of TCI Component Cost Elements

[Note: The cost of the qualifying on-cost items is met not on the basis of actual itemised costs but in aggregate by a percentage add on to the other qualifying costs.

Non-Qualifying Costs - this term relates to any capital costs of a scheme which do not qualify for grant, because:

  • They arise from inadmissible items;
  • They go beyond the Department’s requirements including the level of costs normally accepted for grant purposes.  This can include ‘day’ facilities for outsiders, and facilities primarily for ‘care’ purposes rather than for ‘housing’ and associated purposes.

Inadmissible Items - the following do not qualify for grant:

  • Estate offices, factories, stores, letting offices;
  • Doctors’ surgeries, clinics;
  • Police stations, public libraries, bus shelters;
  • Shops, restaurants, public houses, offices;
  • Buildings to house standard NIE sub-station or transformer equipment;
  • Maintenance depots, tools, plant and vehicles;
  • Garages, carports (other than carports associated with Wheelchair dwellings and adaptations);
  • Separate laundry blocks and related equipment;
  • Works to adjacent land or property not in Association ownership (except making good as a result of demolition, building works, etc); and
  • Commissions for site finding.

The following items will not qualify for grant unless:

  • Associations can clearly demonstrate they are for the sole use of the residents, or
  • that the cost of such works are to be shared on an equitable basis with other users,  and
  • Costs are approved in advance by the NIHE (DPG), or
  • To comply with any statutory obligations which may have been imposed:
  • Works to any roads which do not exclusively serve the housing development;
  • Landscaping to areas of land which lie outside the boundaries of the site;
  • District heating systems;
  • Sewers and sewage disposal works;
  • Special refuse treatment buildings;
  • Public conveniences;
  • Community halls, clubrooms, recreation rooms.

[Note: The prior approval of the NIHE (DPG) must be obtained if any of the above items are to be included in the scheme.]

Associated Costs - if any non-qualifying costs are included in the construction costs a proportion of the following costs may not qualify for grant:

  • Acquisition cost;
  • Cost of providing services and site development works;
  • Fluctuations and/or variations to the works contract.

[Note: For the method of apportioning non-qualifying costs, see Apportionment of Non-Qualifying Costs below.]

Scheme Approval procedures - when completing its application for Project Approval the Association should identify and quantify any non-qualifying items included in the total scheme costs figure.  The Association must deduct the amount of the non-qualifying costs from the total scheme costs to arrive at the figure upon which grant is sought.

More information:

TA1 Explanatory Notes
NT1 Explanatory Notes

For information, see Forms

Identifying Further Non-Qualifying Costs - should the NIHE (DPG) identify any further non-qualifying costs, whether in the form of inadmissible items or because the NIHE (DPG) cannot subscribe in full to the Association’s proposed costs for grant, the means of funding these (if they are to remain in the project) will be discussed with the Association prior to any approval.  The NIHE (DPG) will not make grant or loan finance available for the cost of non-qualifying items.

Apportionment of Non-Qualifying Costs - the non-qualifying element of costs will be determined as follows:

  • Land/property purchase price - the Association will be asked to confirm the Valuer’s assessment of the non-qualifying element.
  • Works cost - the non-qualifying works element will be the cost of the non-qualifying items identified by the Association in its Project Approval application plus any further non-qualifying items identified by the NIHE (DPG).  No grant will be advanced in respect of these costs.  In making its application for grant at Final Cost Assessment stage, the Association should ensure that no further non-qualifying items have been introduced for grant funding during the development – the Association is required to so certify at Final Cost Assessment stage.
  • Standard On-Cost - where non-qualifying costs exist in either the purchase price and/or the works cost, the standard on-cost figure will be applied to those costs deemed to qualify for grant.
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