Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Questions (166, 167)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

166. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if in the context of funds provided for local authority house building in the recent budget are likely to be deployed to those local authorities most seriously affected by housing shortage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45310/13]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

167. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the extent to which it is expected that the serious local authority housing crisis as evidenced by the unprecedented numbers on the Kildare County Council housing waiting list will be addressed within the context of the recent budgetary allocation for this purpose; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45311/13]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 166 and 167 together.

The Abridged Estimate for my Department, published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in Expenditure Report 2014, provides €525.8 million in respect of the Housing Programme. These resources have been supplemented by a further €50 million announced in the Budget to fund infrastructural investment primarily in the housing area and, when taken in conjunction, funding for housing is effectively maintained at 2013 levels.

Meeting social housing need within the available resources will necessitate smarter and more innovative approaches in order to maximise output. In 2014, I will continue to focus the available resources towards the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sectors of the community. I expect the recently announced €30 million additional Exchequer investment in social housing to deliver up to 500 local authority homes for families on the housing waiting list. Approximately half of this investment will facilitate the construction of new infill housing developments in areas with a highest demand for social housing. It is intended that €15 million will be invested in bringing vacant and boarded-up local authority houses back into productive use.

The detailed arrangements for the implementation of the two measures are being developed by my Department at present. I intend to announce these arrangements as soon as possible with a view to having the investment programme up and running as early as possible in 2014. My Department will be requesting local authorities to submit proposals for inclusion under both measures in due course.