Written Answers. - Local Authority Housing.

John Bruton

Question:

399 Mr. J. Bruton asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if a survey has been done on the impact of breakdown of marriages of couples with children, the breakdown of relationships between co-habitors with children and the volume of demand for social housing; if an estimate of the cost of this has been made; if the housing policies of local authorities are designed to favour stable family relationships; if not, the reason therefor; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10667/03]

My Department is not aware of any specific survey on relationship breakdown involving children and its impact on the demand for social housing. The Department of Social and Family Affairs has published two reports under the families research programme entitled "Children's Experience of Parental Separation" and "Unhappy Marriages: Does Counselling Help?". However, neither report refers directly to the effects of relationship breakdown on the demand for social housing. The overall demand for social housing is indicated by the assessment of the need for local authority housing. This assessment is carried out in accordance with the Housing Act 1988 and gives a breakdown of those in need of social housing by family status without, however, specifying the marital status of persons on the waiting list. The most recent assessment was carried out in March 2002 and its results were published in the September quarter 2002 edition of theHousing Statistics Bulletin, which is available from the Oireachtas Library.

The overall results of the recent assessment indicate that a total of 48,413 households were in need of local authority housing as at 28 March 2002. Of this total, some 43% are single person households with children. The assessment does not provide data on whether this figure relates to family breakdown or other circumstances. It is the stated objective of Irish housing policy to address all housing needs and in this way to promote the general welfare of society, including family stability.

Eamon Gilmore

Question:

400 Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will confirm to Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council his approval for the redevelopment of Laurel Avenue, Ballybrack, County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10668/03]

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council have submitted revised proposals for approval to my Department for the redevelopment of Laurel Avenue, Ballybrack. These proposals are currently under examination and a decision will be conveyed to the council as soon as possible.