Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Questions (378)

Terence Flanagan

Question:

378. Deputy Terence Flanagan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if a directive has been given by his Department to local authorities to ensure they turn around boarded-up houses in a timely manner; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12039/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

Returning vacant social housing stock to productive use in as short a time as possible remains a key priority under my Department’s Social Housing Investment Programme. A €50 million capital stimulus was announced on Budget Day to support construction and related social housing programmes. Some €15 million will be used to fund a targeted measure aimed at returning vacant and boarded-up houses to productive use.

Last week my Department wrote to local authorities advising that funding of up to €30,000 per dwelling will be provided for a suite of retrofitting works to bring vacant properties back to a high standard. Funding will be allocated on the basis of equitable and evidence-based criteria which reflect the merit and cost effectiveness of proposals and the level of local housing need. Local authorities are required to submit proposals to my Department by Friday 28 March, 2014. I intend to announce details of the funding allocations as soon as possible afterwards.