Thursday, 13 June 2019

Questions (246, 247)

Darragh O'Brien

Question:

246. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of approved housing body applications for capital advance leasing facility loans in each of the years 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of housing units applied for per annum; the number and value of applications approved and associated housing units; the number and value of applications and associated units refused per annum; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24823/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

247. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the provision for capital advance leasing facility loans in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24824/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 246 and 247 together.

Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are making an important contribution to social housing delivery, as envisaged in Rebuilding Ireland. My Department and local authorities administer a number of funding programmes to assist AHBs with the cost of building, buying and leasing new social houses. All funding is conditional on the properties being made available to households on local authority waiting lists.

Under the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP), my Department, together with local authorities, can support AHBs to construct, purchase or lease housing units and make them available for social housing. The housing units are secured under long-term leases/availability arrangements between local authorities and AHBs, the cost of which is recouped to local authorities by my Department. The Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF) funding is capital support provided to AHBs by local authorities to facilitate the funding of construction, acquisition or refurbishment of new social housing units, including units acquired through the establishment of the Housing Agency Acquisition Fund.

The capital advance, which is up to 30% of the value of the eligible capital costs, is repayable by the AHB to the local authority at the end of a Payment and Availability (P&A) agreement, usually 30 years. All proposals for CALF are submitted to my Department by AHBs for review, to ensure that each project complies with the terms of the CALF and that there are sufficient funds available.

To date, 26 AHBs have availed of CALF to secure homes for social housing use. Funding eligibility is aligned to those AHBs signed up to and demonstrating compliance with the Voluntary Regulation Code.

AHBs and local authorities work closely on a local basis to plan and programme new social housing supply. This collaborative approach ensures that there is local authority support for a project prior to submission to my Department for funding approval. Applications for funding for a scheme or individual homes, which have not progressed, may have been withdrawn by local authorities or AHBs for various reasons, including the opportunities no longer being available. In many cases, the applications are resubmitted with revisions or by another AHB.

The CALF was introduced in 2011 and only a small number of AHBs availed of the facility during the period 2011 to 2013, delivering a total of 498 additional social housing homes under the scheme. Only over the last number of years has the sector moved to accessing private funding/ borrowing and moving away from full exchequer support. Since 2014, the number of homes delivered using CALF support has increased significantly year on year, along with Exchequer funding to support AHBs to access finance for the provision of new social housing.

Delivery under CALF since 2014 is set out in the following table.

CALF

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Homes Delivered

319

374

566

1,257

2,315

At the end of Q4 2018, there were some 3,600 homes approved for delivery either by building or acquisition using CALF and P&A support, which are scheduled to be delivered out to 2022. As of June 2019, €284 million had been loaned by local authorities to AHBs as CALF funding and a further €244 million has been approved for lending.

Owing to the nature of the CALF, home delivery does not always arise in the same year as expenditure is incurred. Schemes delivered under phased programmes may cross a number of payment periods. A provision of €94.4 million is available for CALF in 2019.

Expenditure under CALF since 2014 is set out in the following table.

CALF

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Expenditure

4.447m

13.374m

35.677m

55.677m

120.881m

In terms of social housing delivery, we are continuing to build on the significant progress that was made between 2016 and 2018 in terms of supporting new households. My Department is currently validating returns from all 31 local authorities and will shortly be publishing the local authority breakdown of delivery against targets for Quarter 1.

Indicative delivery outputs reflect that more than 5,800 additional housing supports have been provided in the first three months of this year across all of the various social housing delivery programmes, including build, acquisition, leasing, HAP and RAS. This includes more than 1,200 additional social homes provided by local authorities and AHBs under build, acquisition and leasing programmes.

As you will be aware, my Department publishes a quarterly Construction Status Report. This report is a compendium of the new build programme across the 31 local authorities for new build social housing activity for the duration of Rebuilding Ireland.

By end 2018, the number of new build social homes now delivered or in the pipeline stood at over 19,000 of the overall build target of 33,600, with nearly 5,000 homes on site and under construction and a further 2,569 homes at the final pre-construction stage. The Quarter 1 2019 Report will be finalised in the coming days, and given the rate of new projects being added to the programme, going on site, and completing, I expect this to show a strong pipeline against the overall target.

Details of the annual social housing output for each of the local authority areas, as well as the specific output under each of the funding programmes, are available on my Department's website at the following link: www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision.