Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Questions (773)

Niamh Smyth

Question:

773. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress being made on reducing social housing waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10129/18]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The implementation of the Government's Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan is well underway and making significant progress. This was evident in the Social Housing Output indicative figures published last month, showing that nearly 26,000 households had their social housing need met in 2017; this was building on the equivalent figure of 19,000 in 2016.

The results of the statutory summary of social housing assessments carried out in 2017 show that 85,799 households were assessed as being qualified for and in need of social housing support as of 28 June 2017. This represents a decrease of 5,801 households, or 6.3%, on the previous assessment, completed just over nine months previously in September 2016.

However, there will be no let up in the Government's focus on this issue and the resources provided through Rebuilding Ireland are allowing us to respond in a significant manner. Over €1.4 billion was provided for investment in housing in 2017 and this is being increased significantly to €1.9 billion this year.

This investment will yield substantial delivery activity and ensure that we make further significant progress towards meeting the overall target of delivering 50,000 social homes in the period to 2021, through new build, refurbishment, acquisitions and leasing. That number is alongside an accelerated roll-out of the housing assistance payment scheme, meeting the needs of some 80,000 households.

My Department now publishes social housing construction status reports on a quarterly basis. These reports provide information on the construction programme underway in each local authority area. 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:

http://rebuildingireland.ie/install/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Q3-2017-Construction-Status-Report.pdf .

I am confident that the actions, targets and resources available under Rebuilding Ireland provide a strong platform for meeting our challenges in the housing sector and I am satisfied that delivery of the plan remains firmly on track.

Questions Nos. 774 and 775 answered with Question No. 760.