Thursday, 7 March 2013

Questions (121)

Paul Connaughton

Question:

121. Deputy Paul J. Connaughton asked the Minister for Social Protection in relation to persons who have applied for relocation following the flooding in Galway in 2009, the number of persons who have accepted contracts; the number of those who are waiting on contracts to be returned from her Department; when payments will be issued; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12144/13]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The Government has provided various types of support to people affected by the November 2009 flooding. Humanitarian Aid payments were made, both in the immediate aftermath of the flooding and subsequently to enable eligible households to resume living at their home. Subject to certain conditions the Government also decided to offer support to a small number of families who are continuing to experience significant housing problems as a result of the November 2009 flooding and are considering relocating rather than permanently returning to their original home.

The legal agreement necessary for the purpose of this scheme was the subject of much detailed discussion and negotiations between this Department, the Office of Public Works (OPW) and the Chief State Solicitor's Office (CSSO). The finalised agreement issued to 18 householders in December 2012. In view of the legal obligations attaching to the payment of monies in respect of relocation assistance, householders were advised to seek legal advice prior to signing the agreements. A number of householders have raised legal questions with the Department's legal advisors which are being progressed. To date three householders have returned signed agreements. The Department is finalising these agreements, in conjunction with the OPW, and will issue copies of the final contract to the householders. The contract provides for a number of terms and conditions that must be fulfilled before payment can issue. Payment will issue without delay when all the terms and conditions have been met.