The contact group on the affordable housing initiative last met on 4 February 2004 and is due to meet again within the next month. This committee, which is chaired by the Department of the Taoiseach, also comprises representatives of my Department, the Department of Finance and the Central Statistics Office. The committee has an important role in ensuring the effective implementation of the Sustaining Progress affordable housing initiative.
The committee's work programme for 2004 includes overseeing the effective and early implementation of the projects already identified, addressing any policy issues arising in implementing the initiative within the parameters of the agreement and continuing with the process of identifying State lands for use in the initiative. Furthermore, an implementation team within my Department and project managers at local level are all working to ensure the success of the initiative. We are also working with the parties to the pay agreement in addressing many of the complex issues that must be addressed in delivering a new initiative of this scale. Considerable work has been done to date in this regard, the fruits of which will emerge during this year and into the future as projects are brought to the market.