The first call for proposals under the local infrastructure housing activation fund, LIHAF, was issued to all local authorities in August 2016 and 34 projects received preliminary approval in March 2017. Westmeath County Council submitted two projects for consideration under LIHAF and funding in the amount of €1.83 million was approved for an access road on Brawny Road, Athlone. However, the proposal on Ardmore Road, Mullingar, was not approved for funding at the time.
As part of budget 2018, I announced that an additional €50 million of Exchequer funding would be available for a second LIHAF call. As was the case in the original LIHAF call, this will be subject to matching funding by local authorities such that the Department will provide 75% Exchequer funding and the local authorities will provide 25% matching funding. This will bring overall LIHAF funding under both calls to €266 million.
I anticipate that there will be a further call for proposals in phase 2 of LIHAF during March. It will be open to all local authorities to submit new projects or resubmit previous ones for consideration at that time. Following the assessment and selection of successful projects, it is expected that the LIHAF 2 projects will commence towards the end of 2018.