I propose to take Questions Nos. 757, 758, 761, 762 and 767 together.
The Government has made housing a top priority and, through the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan, has a framework in place to deliver an increase and acceleration in the supply of high quality housing, including social and affordable homes, particularly in the major urban areas where demand is greatest.
In order to directly influence and generate supply of new homes, Rebuilding Ireland contains a suite of actions that will increase housing construction and refurbishment. Under Pillar 2 of the Action Plan, 50,000 new social homes will be delivered by 2021, supported by €6 billion in exchequer funding. Of these, 33,500 homes will be provided through direct construction and refurbishment. Significant progress has been made in increasing the build programmes of local authorities and approved housing bodies and there are over 12,000 new homes in the social housing construction pipeline, including those on site or recently completed, and this is being added to on a weekly basis.
With the funding made available in Budget 2018, the aim is to meet the housing needs of almost 25,500 households during 2018. Central to this delivery will be the construction of 3,800 new homes by local authorities and approved housing bodies, through direct build, turnkey developments and rapid delivery projects. This construction programme, underpinned by a multi-faceted Action Plan, is the correct way to make a fast and sustainable response to the housing crisis.
All local authorities are undertaking social housing construction including on publicly owned lands. This can be seen in the Social Housing Construction Status Reports which my Department publishes quarterly. These reports provide information on the construction programme underway for each local authority area, including Kildare and other counties adjacent to Dublin. The last published report sets out the position at the end of quarter 3 of 2017 when there were over 3,600 new social homes on site and under construction and a further 2,000 new homes with approval to appoint contractors and move onto the construction phase. That report is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link:
It will be these schemes that will form the bulk of the housing starts and delivery of the 3,800 homes targeted through new builds in 2018. The precise timing for the advancement of each of these projects, including completion dates and tenanting, is a matter in the first instance for the relevant local authorities. However, my Department is working closely on delivery issues with all local authorities, including with Kildare County Council. This includes the work of a new housing delivery team under Minister of State Damien English and through quarterly meetings to address challenges that might arise with individual projects.
Kildare County Council, along with all other local authorities, is being funded to significantly increase its delivery of social housing as part of Rebuilding Ireland. Additional social homes being brought on stream in Kildare are allocated by the Council in accordance with section 22 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and associated Regulations. Such allocations are a matter for the Council and my Department does not hold detailed information on allocations.