Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (84)

Thomas P. Broughan


84. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the contacts his Department has had with Dublin City Council in relation to the delivery of social housing targets in 2018 and to date in 2019; if the council needs further emergency powers to meet those targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15746/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department is supporting local authorities in the provision of social housing homes through a range of different initiatives and schemes.  This includes the construction of social homes on the land of local authorities and construction delivery in conjunction with Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs).  Local authorities are also working in partnership with private developers to deliver social housing construction through turnkey arrangements. In addition, my Department is funding social housing delivery through acquisitions, leasing arrangements, the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS). Such a blend of delivery mechanisms is essential to ensure the needs of households will be successfully met.

The social housing delivery output figures for 2018 show that the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan is working.  The level of progress being made is reflected in social housing waiting lists, which have reduced by 22% between September 2016 and June 2018, from 91,600 households to 71,858. Through partnerships between local authorities, AHBs and a range of other delivery partners, over 45,000 individuals and families had their housing needs met during 2016 and 2017.  A total of 27,103 households had their housing needs met in 2018, with 8,422 new homes brought into the active social housing stock through, build, acquisition, voids and leasing programmes.  This is 550 more homes than targeted for the year.

My Department engages with all local authorities, including with Dublin City Council, on a regular basis regarding the accelerated delivery of social housing. This includes at Chief Executive level, bilaterals at senior official level and quarterly technical meetings. In terms of the progress made in social housing delivery in 2018 and in the context of the social housing target setting process for 2019, my Department has had significant engagement and contacts with officials in Dublin City Council. Indeed, I have, myself, engaged with the Chief Executive of Dublin City Council on many occasions in relation to social housing delivery and my most recent engagement with the Chief Executive was at the last Housing Summit, which I hosted in February this year. 

I am confident that the actions, targets, legislative framework and resources available to all local authorities under Rebuilding Ireland provide a strong platform for meeting our challenges in the housing sector and I will be continuing to work with all stakeholders to ensure that delivery remains on target.