Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (55)

James Browne


55. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the way in which he plans to reduce the social housing waiting lists in County Wexford; his plans to provide additional affordable housing in the county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23192/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Rebuilding Ireland aims to deliver over 50,000 additional social housing homes through build, acquisition and leasing programmes and also aims to support some 88,000 additional households through the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme and the Rental Accommodation Scheme, over the 6 year period of the Plan.

Very significant progress has been made in delivering on Rebuilding Ireland's targets, including in County Wexford. This is reflected in the reductions recorded on the social housing waiting list in Wexford, with the number of households on the list reducing by 567, or over 20%, between 2016 and 2018, with just under 2,000 additional housing supports provided in the county since 2016. The target for 2019 is for the delivery of an additional 931 housing supports in County Wexford, comprising 353 homes through build, acquisition and leasing programmes and 578 households to be supported through the Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Scheme, which will have a significant impact on further reducing Wexford's housing list.

A substantial focus of all stakeholders is to increase supply through new build activity. At end 2018, Wexford County Council has a social housing construction programme of 58 projects, yielding almost 700 homes. This pipeline continues to grow with regular approvals for new schemes. I am confident that the actions, targets and resources available under Rebuilding Ireland provide a strong platform for continuing to reduce the number of households on waiting lists in Wexford and across the country.

In order to support local authorities in delivering affordable homes, €310 million is being made available from 2019 until 2021, under the Serviced Site Fund (SSF). The SSF will fund facilitating infrastructure, on local authority sites, with a maximum funding rate of €50,000 per affordable home. The first call under the SSF issued to 11 local authorities in urban areas in June 2018, where an affordability issue was identified.

Following an economic assessment process, a second call issued under the SSF to 19 local authorities last month, including Wexford. The closing date for applications under this 2nd call was 17 May 2019. A total of 30 submissions were received from 15 local authorities, including Wexford County Council, and these applications are currently being assessed, with a view to issuing approvals later this month.

I and my Department will continue to work with all stakeholders in order to accelerate further the significant increase in the delivery of homes across all tenures in Wexford and nationally.