Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Questions (1185, 1189, 1192, 1195)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1185. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the extent to which he can authorise construction starts on various local authority housing sites nationally, with particular reference to the need for a major surge in such development in view of the increased level of demand; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45472/19]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

1189. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of directly built new local authority houses allocated by the local authority to persons on the housing waiting list by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45476/19]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

1192. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of local authorities that have sought funding from his Department for the purpose of building or purchasing local authority houses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45479/19]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

1195. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he has sought or received from each local authority an up-to-date position in regard to the start-up of developments on various local authority sites nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45482/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1185, 1189, 1192 and 1195 together.

The delivery of new social housing is a priority for the Government as can be seen in the targeted delivery this year, of 10,000 new social homes through build, acquisition and lease, under Rebuilding Ireland. In addition, the Government's commitment to the delivery of social housing homes is evident from the National Development Plan 2018-2027, which provides for the delivery of 112,000 new social homes over the next decade, supported by capital funding of €11.6 billion.

All local authorities are being funded to significantly increase their delivery of social housing under Rebuilding Ireland and a strong social housing construction pipeline is in place for local authorities and approved housing bodies. Social housing delivery targets for all local authorities have been set under Rebuilding Ireland to 2021 and are publicly available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/social-housing-targets-2019/. Progress against these targets is tracked on a quarterly basis, with details published on my Department's website at https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision. Details of the number of houses delivered in each local authority area, including construction and acquisition, are also available at that link. All such new social homes as they are delivered, are allocated to families and people of the social housing waiting lists of the local authorities.

The social housing delivery targets set for each local authority are in proportion to their waiting lists. Accordingly, as progress is made by each authority against their delivery targets, this will proportionally benefit those on individual waiting lists. The most recently available Summary of Social Housing Assessments relates to 2018 and, at national level, the number of households on the waiting list had decreased by 13,941 (-16.2%), compared to the previous assessment in June 2017, with 29 of the 31 local authorities reporting a decrease.

A strong social housing construction pipeline is in place, with a detailed breakdown of this contained in the Social Housing Construction Status Report which is updated and published on a quarterly basis. The report covering the period up to end Quarter 2 of 2019, is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at https://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-social-housing-construction-status-report-for-q2-2019-2/,. The Quarter 2 report reflected an increase in the scale of the social housing build programme, with over 1,500 schemes (or phases of schemes) in place, delivering over 22,000 new social housing homes. Of this total, over 7,300 new homes have already been delivered up to Quarter 2 of 2019, while over 6,400 additional new homes were under construction. Over 2,700 further homes were at the final pre-construction stage and the remainder were progressing through the various stages of planning, design and procurement.

The timing, delivery and tenanting of new social housing schemes is a matter in the first place for each local authority. I am pleased to see the progress being made on projects, building on what has been already delivered, but I am keen that all local authorities further accelerate their programmes and I have assured them that the necessary funding is available to support their work in this regard.