Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (630, 631)

Anne Rabbitte

Question:

630. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the affordable housing scheme will be open to applicants in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39501/19]

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Anne Rabbitte

Question:

631. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of affordable houses built under an affordable housing scheme which would not include standard local authority housing, HAP or rent supplement in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019 by scheme in County Galway; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39502/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 630 and 631 together.

Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 was commenced in June 2018 to provide a statutory basis for the delivery of affordable housing for purchase.

Regulations in respect of the making of Schemes of Priority were signed on 12 March 2019, and these were issued to local authorities on 22 March 2019.  The purpose of a Scheme of Priority is to set out the affordable purchase arrangements at local authority level.  This includes the methodology that will be applied by local authorities to determine the order of priority to be accorded to eligible households where the demand for such affordable dwellings exceeds the number available.  Both Galway City and County Councils have submitted their Schemes of Priority to my Department and both schemes have been approved.  

In line with the legal requirements of the Affordable Dwelling Purchase Arrangements, further regulations will be put in place over the coming months regarding eligibility and other matters. When the operational procedures for the scheme are finalised, and before dwellings are made available for purchase under the scheme, a programme of communication will be undertaken by my Department and local authorities. 

To support the delivery of more affordable homes to buy or rent the Government has committed €310 million under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF), from 2019 to 2021 to provide infrastructure support for the delivery of over 6,000 dwellings.  The first call for proposals under the SSF in June 2018 was specifically targeted at 11 local authorities, where the greatest affordability pressures exists.  In December 2018, Approval in Principle was announced for funding for 10 infrastructure projects, in Dublin and Cork, with an allocated budget of €43 million. This will support the delivery of approximately 1,400 affordable homes. 

A second call for proposals under the SSF issued in April 2019 to 19 local authorities. I announced Approval in Principle for 25 infrastructure projects across 13 local authority areas on the 6th August 2019.  This significant funding commitment of €84 million will support the delivery of 1,770 affordable homes for purchase.  Of these 25 projects approved, one was in Galway City and one in Galway County.  The projects, details of which can be found on the rebuildingireland.ie website at the following link were allocated a combined €6.5 million in funding for infrastructure to support the delivery thereafter of 125 affordable homes.

https://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-approves-funding-of-e84m-to-support-delivery-of-1770-affordable-homes-under-the-ssf/.

I would anticipate that a further Call for Proposals will issue to local authorities in 2020.  SSF announcements to date mean that funding support has been allocated to enable delivery of almost 3,200 more affordable homes. The overall cost and the timing of delivery for SSF projects is contingent upon the completion of planning and procurement in the first instance, and local authorities are working to achieve delivery as quickly as possible.

This schemes will complement other key Government affordability initiatives, such as the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan, and the Help to Buy Scheme, which have supported some 15,000 households nationally.