Responsibility for the assessment of housing need and the development of proposals to address this need rests with the individual housing authorities. Earlier today I announced the approval of some 56 social housing construction projects with an overall value of some €68 million under the Local Authority housing construction programme for 2014-2015. This new construction programme will deliver 449 new units of accommodation for people on the housing waiting list. Projects were selected for funding approval on the basis of the proposals submitted to my Department by the local authorities, the relative priority afforded to each of these projects and the overall level of housing need locally.
Under my Department’s Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) funding is provided to Approved Housing Bodies, through the local authorities, for the provision of accommodation for persons with specific categories of housing need, including older persons, persons with a disability and homeless persons. In January, 2014 my Department requested local authorities to submit by 28 March, 2014 a prioritised list of new CAS projects to be progressed over the next two years. It will be a matter for local authorities to determine the relative priority of projects on the basis of their contribution to meeting local housing need and to shortlist these in order of merit. Further consideration of the CAS projects for funding approval over the next two years, including projects in County Wicklow, must await the receipt of submissions from the local authorities.