Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (840)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

840. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the steps he is taking to secure the reclassification of the approved housing body sector as off balance sheet; the number of meetings held by his officials; the number of meetings held with officials from the Department of Finance on the issue; the number of meetings his officials have had with the approved housing body sector since the EUROSTAT reclassification; and the details of these meetings by date and organisations met. [29343/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department is continuing its work on the issue of reclassification by EUROSTAT, of the majority of Tier 3 Approved Housing Bodies as part of the Government sector for accounting purposes.

It is engaging with the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, with technical support from the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) and the Housing Agency (HA), in order to ensure that AHBs can continue to fulfil their full potential in the delivery of the targets set out in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan.

My Department regularly meets with AHBs and AHB representative bodies where the issue of reclassification is discussed. Recently, my Department met with the ICSH on 11 June 2019 and a meeting is scheduled to take place on 24 July 2019 with the Housing Alliance. My Department has met with the Department of Finance twice for the specific purpose of discussing reclassification since the EUROSTAT decision was made.

The sector itself has engaged its own research on the matter, and has put forward its own proposals. My Department is evaluating these proposals as part of its ongoing consideration of the issue and with regard to their potential wider implications.

Notwithstanding the decision by EUROSTAT, the Government continues to see a central role for the voluntary housing sector in contributing to delivery of social housing under Rebuilding Ireland. It is committed to using all mechanisms and schemes, including through the AHB sector, to ensure that we maintain the momentum towards meeting the ambitious 50,000 social housing target under the Action Plan.