Written Answers. - Estate Management Policies.

Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

75 Mr. Broughan asked the Minister for the Environment the measures, if any, he proposes to take to ensure that his policies regarding estate management are implemented by the local authority concerned, including the use of sanctions, if necessary, in view of the current levels of harassment and intimidation of families in Dublin Corporation estates. [8428/96]

The most effective means open to me and my Department to secure improved estate management is to encourage the implementation by local authorities of better management practices and to provide guidance and incentives to assist them to do so. The following measures have, accordingly, been taken: local authorities have been required to adopt statements of policy on housing management, taking account of a guidance memorandum which highlighted areas of concern and specified matters which should be addressed, including measures to reduce crime and vandalism and to increase security for tenants; a new housing management grants scheme introduced in 1995 is designed to assist authorities to undertake pilot projects to improve housing management; 16 projects were approved under the scheme last year, 11 of which related to tenant training, and I recently announced a continuation of the scheme in 1996; a housing management group has been established with terms of reference which focus on critical areas in estate management; this will help to put the housing management practices of local authorities on a more professional footing. In the preparation of its report, I have asked the group to consult widely to ensure that all interested parties have the opportunity to make their views known; the remedial works scheme, under which some £155 million has been allocated to local authorities, is being reviewed, in consultation with the authorities, to ensure that the objectives of the scheme, which include good estate management, are met.

While good estate management practices by local authorities have an important role to play in overcoming anti-social behaviour on their estates, incidents of harassment and intimidation of families are primarily a matter for the Garda authorities.