Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Dublin County Council Housing Funds.

12.

asked the Minister for the Environment if he is satisfied that the funds made available to Dublin County Council are enough to meet the current need for new council houses and repairs of existing council houses.

I am satisfied that the total allocation made to Dublin County Council by my Department in the current year is adequate to meet their capital expenditure on the provision of new council houses.

In order to meet the costs of management, maintenance and repairs of their rented housing stock, Dublin County Council, like all other housing authorities, have available to them the entire rental income from their housing estate, together with 40 per cent of the proceeds of sales of council houses. Where necessary, they may also supplement the amounts thus available by means of revenue funds provided from their own resources.

Will the Minister agree that the moneys available to Dublin County Council from the sources he has mentioned have been reduced in real terms and, as a consequence, in many cases it is taking a very long time before necessary repairs to council houses are being carried out?

As I indicated, Dublin County Council have available the entire rental income together with 40 per cent of the proceeds of sales of council houses. None of the rental money goes towards funding the loan charges or any other capital charges. A local authority should be able to live within the revenue they collect and should be able to maintain their houses. If they are not in that position then there is something radically wrong with the management structure, not with the financial structure.

Will the Minister indicate what delay there is on the part of the maintenance department in carrying out repairs? Does he agree that the council do not have the staff, and apparently are not in a position to take on the necessary staff, to provide a reasonable repairs service?

I am not sure if the Deputy is talking about lack of funds or lack of staff.

There are no additional funds, and I do not believe there should be any additional funds. The rental from the houses plus 40 per cent of the proceeds of sales should be adequate to maintain and manage the houses. If this is not the case there is something remiss in that local authority.

Will the Minister state if that applies to all local authorities?

The money can be devoted to repairs?