Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (648)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

648. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of houses under construction by or for approved housing bodies; the projected completion date of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16702/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Rebuilding Ireland is utilising all available resources at national and local level to maximise the delivery of social housing, as quickly and efficiently as possible. More than 50,000 social housing homes will be delivered by the end of 2021. These new homes will be delivered by both local authorities themselves and working in partnership with Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs).

In the interest of transparency and accountability and to facilitate continued solution focused dialogue, my Department publishes quarterly reports outlining progress against the plan. Insofar as local authority and AHB construction projects are concerned, the quarterly Social Housing Construction Status Reports contain information regarding the stage of progress of each project and the number of homes involved, broken down by local authority. The most recent report, setting out the position at end 2018, is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website and can be viewed at the following link:

www.rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-social-housing-construction-status-report-for-q4-2018/.

Last year, 4,251 new homes were brought into the active social housing stock through new build projects, with a further 4,171 brought into productive use through other mechanisms such as acquisitions, voids and leasing programmes. The new build delivery in 2018 represented an 85% increase on the previous year. Indeed, the number of new social housing homes built in 2018 was eight times greater than the number built in 2015, the year before Rebuilding Ireland was introduced. 38% of these homes were delivered by AHBs in partnership with local authorities.

My Department sets national and county targets on an annual basis and works closely with all stakeholders, including AHBs, to facilitate accelerated delivery. Responsibility for delivery of targets is delegated to local authorities in order to enable flexibility and responsiveness to new opportunities to further expand pipelines. Therefore, while my Department publishes targets for each year and quarterly updates on progress against these targets, due to many project and external factors, definitive completion dates can be difficult to project. However, my Department works with local authorities and AHBs on an ongoing basis to ensure that all social housing projects are delivered as efficiently as possible.