I propose to take Questions Nos. 140, 143 and 147 together.
The results of the statutory assessment of local authority housing need, which was undertaken by local authorities in March 2002, indicated that a total of 48,413 households were in need of housing, of which 32,891 were households consisting of two or more persons. Detailed information on the results of the 2002 assessment was published in my Department's September 2002 quarterly edition of the Housing Statistics Bulletin, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library.
The Sustaining Progress special initiative on housing and accommodation reflected the Government's expectation that the resources available in 2003 allowed for the needs of about 12,000 households to be met through the various social and affordable housing measures. A similar level is expected to be achieved again in 2004. This compares with almost 8,500 households in 1998. It is expected that local authorities will commence-acquire some 5,500 units in 2004. This compared with 4,900 starts-acquisitions in 2003.
My Department is currently examining individual house building programmes and estimated expenditure requirements for 2004 that have been received from local authorities including the three local authorities in County Kildare. This will enable my Department to determine capital allocations for 2004 for each local authority in the near future.