Housing Policy

Questions (1173)

Michael Harty

Question:

1173. Deputy Michael Harty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on co-living accommodation developments as a method of urban densification in view of his speech to a group (details supplied); and the reason for the decision. [45271/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The speech referred to in the question was given at an event organised by the London Irish Town Planners Network on 17 October last, to which I was invited as Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to give an address on the theme of “Densification in an Urban Context”.

Separate to the London Irish Town Planners network event, there was a study tour to London organised by the Irish Planning Institute (IPI) from 16-18 October, that included a visit to co-living development as part of the tour itinerary.

This may have given rise to some confusion, as delegates to the Irish Planning Institute study tour were also invited to attend the London Irish Town Planners Network event, at which I spoke on the subject of urban densification, but not on the subject of co-living development.

The address made was wide-ranging and touched on a number of related topics, while also acknowledging the need to compare and learn from practice and experience elsewhere. It also served as an opportunity to encourage the pool of qualified and experienced Irish Planners working in London to consider return to Ireland.

Under Project Ireland 2040, including the National Planning Framework, the Government identified the achievement of compact growth as a key mechanism to support the future sustainable development of our cities and towns, addressing issues such as regional development, urban sprawl, long-distance commuting, housing supply and climate action.

The densification of settlements is an important part of achieving compact growth, and events such as that in London, provide an opportunity to discuss and debate the issues.

Last year, under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended), my Department published updated apartment planning guidelines and new building height guidelines in order to encourage compact, sustainable growth in our urban areas and to further support the delivery of apartment development.

The updated Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New Apartments Guidelines for Planning Authorities respond to changing housing need and a more dynamic urban employment market, including an aging, more diverse and internationally mobile population.

The updated guidelines also set out policy in relation to a range of apartment types needed to meet the accommodation needs of a variety of household types and sizes. This includes the introduction of the possibility of a ‘Shared Accommodation’ or ‘Co-Living’ format.

This format, which is only one element of the guidelines, is a particular form of development that may be appropriate where responding to an identified urban housing need at particular locations. However, co-living is not envisaged as an alternative or replacement to the more conventional apartment development.

While the apartment guidelines overall are designed to underpin compact growth objectives, the co-living format is intended to meet a very specific need.

In conclusion, the apartment guidelines stipulate that planning authorities strike a balance between the need to provide a particular format of accommodation to respond to a specific housing need in an urban location and the overall requirement to provide quality urban apartment development as a viable long term housing option. This is, of course, in the overall context of a range of urban and rural housing formats.

Irish Water Expenditure

Question No. 1175 answered with Question No. 1143.

Questions (1174)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

1174. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount paid by Irish Water in respect of commercial rates in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45294/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

Section 12 of the Water Services Act 2014 provided that the property of the public water system was not rateable. Prior to this provision, some water assets were valued for rates purposes. Irish Water was therefore not liable to pay rates during the years referred to in the question.

This exemption was ended by section 61 of the Water Services Act 2017, which was commenced with effect from 18 October 2019, and Irish Water will therefore become rateable with effect from 1 January 2020.

In preparation for the recognition of water assets for rateability purposes, the Valuation Office earlier this year undertook a global valuation of the property of Irish Water in line with Section 53 of the Valuation Act 2001.

In order to ensure that the local authorities were not at a loss as a result of the previous exemption my Department has been recouping local authorities in respect of income lost for commercial water rates. The amounts paid to local authorities in respect of Irish Water's infrastructure is set out in the table below:

Year

Amount

Year

Amount

2015

€46,345,050

2016

€46,022,371

2017

€46,566,814

2018

€46,812,124

2019

€47,179,658

Question No. 1175 answered with Question No. 1143.

Homeless Persons Data

Questions (1176)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

1176. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of adults and children that exited homelessness in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, by local authority area in tabular form [45318/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. While responsibility for the provision of accommodation for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities, the administration of homeless services is organised on a regional basis.

Quarterly performance reports are submitted to my Department by local authorities on a regional basis. These reports provide information on the numbers of adults exiting homelessness to a tenancy. Data is not currently available on the number of children that have exited homelessness to a tenancy.

The table below sets out the number of adults exiting homelessness to a tenancy from 2016 to the end of Quarter 2 2019.

Exits from homelessness (No. of Adults)

2016

2017

2018

To end Q2 2019

Dublin

1,833

3,225

3,572

1,940

Mid East

135

150

153

66

Midlands

185

185

177

73

Mid West

185

309

252

136

North East

49

77

113

49

North West

81

74

93

64

South East

186

179

178

105

South West

297

360

430

241

West

128

170

167

151

Total

3,079

4,729

5,135

2,825

Emergency Accommodation Data

Questions (1177)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

1177. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the average cost of emergency accommodation per night per household by local authority area in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45319/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department's role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of emergency accommodation for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities.

My Department does not fund any homeless service directly but provides funding to housing authorities towards these costs. Under the funding arrangements, housing authorities must provide at least 10% of the cost of services from their own resources. Housing authorities may also incur additional expenditure on homeless related services outside of these funding arrangements with my Department. Therefore, the exact spend by housing authorities on homeless services, as well as the types of accommodation, are a matter for individual housing authorities in consultation with the Management Group of the relevant regional joint Homeless Consultative Forum.

Performance and Financial reports from each of the homeless regions, setting out data and expenditure on homeless services, including emergency accommodation, are published on my Department's website at the following link: https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/homelessness/other/homelessness-data.

Local Government Fund

Questions (1178)

Mattie McGrath

Question:

1178. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason the Local Government Fund has been cut by approximately €30 million; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45330/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Government is providing €156 million to support local authorities through the exchequer contribution to the Local Government Fund (LGF) in 2020 meaning that, on a like-for-like basis, local authorities are expected to be in receipt of €23 million more in funding in 2020 when compared to 2019. The extra €23 million represents an increase of 27% in exchequer support for local authorities to meet additional pay and pension costs arising from national pay agreements.

While there is a headline reduction on the 2019 budget allocation of €185m to the Fund, this is due to a reduction in the exchequer supports required by local authorities in 2020. The realignment of support for Local Government in 2020 is largely as a result of the valuation of Irish Water as a global utility liable for commercial rates from 2020. As a consequence of this, there is no longer a requirement for general water rates compensation in 2020 of circa €47m.

I expect that the local authority sector will collect a broadly similar amount through commercial rates as was received in previous years through exchequer funded water rates compensation. I expect that in some cases, individual local authorities will receive more in commercial rates than they received in compensation, and I accept that some local authorities will receive less. My Department is actively monitoring the financial impact of this transition on individual local authorities, in the context of their overall financial position.

It is expected that Local Property Tax (LPT) allocations of €516.8m will be made from the Fund in 2020 (an increase from €503m in 2019). The increase in LPT allocations is accounted for, in the most part, by the decisions of 19 local authorities to increase their LPT rates above the basic rate for 2020.

Departmental Legal Services

Questions (1179)

Paul Murphy

Question:

1179. Deputy Paul Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if an outside legal firm was employed in the drafting of the Water Services Act 2013; and if so, the name of same. [45333/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

In line with standard arrangements, the Water Services Bill 2013, enacted as the Water Services Act 2013, was drafted by the Office of the Parliamentary Counsel, in close consultation with my Department. No external legal advice was procured by my Department in relation to the drafting of this legislation.

Building Regulations Compliance

Questions (1180)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1180. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if assistance is available for persons resident in a housing estate (details supplied) in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45343/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

In July 2015, the then Minister directed that a review be undertaken by an independent fire expert to develop a framework for general application, in the interest of supporting owners and residents living in developments where concerns regarding non-compliance with fire safety requirements arise. It included a case study based on the housing estate that the Deputy refers to.

The Framework was published in August 2017 and contains the following;

- an explanation of the statutory provisions in respect of fire safety, namely the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014 and the Fire Services Acts 1981 & 2003, and the respective responsibilities of owners, designers, builders, occupants, local authorities;

- a range of actions that may reduce risk and improve the level of fire safety where deficiencies arise in dwelling houses, apartments and /or the common areas of apartment buildings; and

- a fire risk assessment methodology for professional advisors to prioritise the remedial actions, if any, that may need to be carried out on a dwelling.

The Framework is intended to be used as a guide by the owners and occupants of dwellings where fire safety deficiencies have been identified, or are a cause for concern. In addition to owners and occupants, the Framework will also be of assistance to professional advisors both in developing strategies to improve fire safety and in developing strategies to enable the continued occupation in advance of undertaking the necessary works to ensure compliance with the relevant Building Regulations.

The framework is available on my Department's website at the following link:

http://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/framework_for_enhancing_fire_safety_in_dwellings.pdf .

It is important to note that while my Department has overall responsibility for establishing and maintaining an effective regulatory framework for building standards and building control, it has no general statutory role in resolving defects in privately owned buildings, including dwellings, nor does it have a budget for such matters. It is not possible for the State to take on responsibility/liability for all legacy issues, nor would it send the right message to the industry regarding their responsibility for compliance.

In response to the many building failures that emerged in the last decade, my Department has been advancing a building control reform agenda in order to develop and promote a culture of competence, good practice and compliance with the building regulations in the construction sector. This agenda includes:

- the introduction of the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014, which require greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations in the form of statutory certification;

- working closely with the Local Government Management Agency on the oversight and governance of the local authority Building Control System to improve its effectiveness; and

- progressing primary legislation, the Building Control (Construction Industry Register Ireland) Bill 2017.

Rent Pressure Zones

Questions (1181)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1181. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will consider amendments to the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 in order that the expiry date of all deemed and designated rent pressure zones can be reviewed prior to 31 December 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45344/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Government’s Strategy for the Rental Sector recognises that rapidly increasing rental inflation is the most significant challenge to security of tenure in the rental sector and that there is a need for a targeted, time-bound and transparent policy response to the issue of rising rents. To address this, the Government introduced the Rent Predictability Measure. This measure, which was provided for by the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016, introduced the concept of Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs) to moderate the rate of rent increases in those areas of the country where rents are highest and rising quickly.

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 was enacted on 24 May 2019 following extensive debate in the Houses of the Oireachtas. Given the ongoing housing and homelessness crisis, I have no plans to amend the expiry date of 31 December 2021 provided in the Act for Rent Pressure Zones to continue in force to provide rent predictability for tenants and landlords, alike, in the medium term.

The Housing Agency continues to monitor the rental market and may recommend further areas for designation as Rent Pressure Zones in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2019.

Tenant Purchase Scheme Review

Questions (1182)

James Browne

Question:

1182. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when he will publish a report regarding the tenant purchase scheme within local authority housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45375/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

In line with the commitment given in the Government's Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness, a review of the operation of the first 12 months of the Tenant Purchase (Incremental) Scheme has been completed and a full report has been prepared setting out findings and recommendations.

I intend to bring a comprehensive package of social housing reform measures to Government in the near future and the review of the Tenant Purchase Scheme will be published as part of that process.

Emergency Accommodation Data

Questions (1183)

John Curran

Question:

1183. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount spent on a monthly basis on emergency accommodation in Dublin in each of the years 2011 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45389/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department's role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of emergency accommodation for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities.

My Department does not fund any homeless service directly but provides funding to housing authorities towards these costs. Under the funding arrangements, housing authorities must provide at least 10% of the cost of services from their own resources. Housing authorities may also incur additional expenditure on homeless related services outside of these funding arrangements with my Department. Therefore, the exact spend by housing authorities on homeless services, as well as the types of accommodation, are a matter for individual housing authorities in consultation with the Management Group of the relevant regional joint Homeless Consultative Forum, in this case the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive. Exchequer funding for homeless services is provided through my Department to housing authorities on a regional basis. The table below sets out the funding recouped to the Dublin Region for the years 2011 to 2018;

Exchequer funding for homeless services under the Housing Act, 1988 (Dublin Region)

2011

€35,732,525

2012

€32,398,290

2013

€31,322,223

2014

€35,322,223

2015

€48,270,201

2016

€68,627,075

2017

€83,616,643

2018

€106,267,187

Financial reports, setting out expenditure on homeless services for each of the regions, including the Dublin region, are published on my Department's website at the following link: https://www.housing.gov.ie /housing/homelessness/other/homelessness-data.

Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness

Questions (1184)

John Curran

Question:

1184. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of homes delivered to date through the strategic housing development scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45399/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

As part of the actions under the Government's Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness – Rebuilding Ireland, the Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 (the Act) introduced new streamlined arrangements to enable planning applications for strategic housing developments (SHDs) of 100 housing units or more, or student accommodation or shared accommodation developments of 200 bed spaces or more, to be made directly to An Bord Pleanála (the Board) for determination.

As of end September 2019, the Board had granted permission for a total of 16,195 housing units (comprising 5,410 houses and 10,785 apartments) and 7,573 student bed spaces under the SHD arrangements. However, the recent review of these arrangements highlights that while they have generally been a success in providing a fast-track development consent process for developers of large-scale housing developments, the number of SHD permissions that have commenced development is less than might have been expected for the benefits being provided.

The Review Group noted that, of the 49 SHD permissions granted between January 2018 and 30 June 2019, only 18 (37%) had been activated in some way, either through enabling works or commencement of housing construction. While the majority of the SHD permissions granted are less than one year old, and this could be a relevant consideration regarding the current low activation rate, the Review Group recommended that the Department should continue to monitor the rate of activation of SHD permissions for a further period and if the activation rate does not increase, to circa 80%, consideration could be given to the introduction of a policy measure such as a “use-it-or-lose-it” provision to incentivise the commencement of works.

I have noted the finding of the Review Group regarding the lower than anticipated activation rates on foot of SHD permissions granted to date. Given the benefits for developers with regard to time savings and consistency in decision making, and taking into account the significant public resources invested in the SHD arrangements, I consider it appropriate that developers should be sufficiently motivated to commence development on foot of an SHD permission, in order to ensure the objectives of the SHD arrangements are more clearly met.

Taking account of the relatively lower than expected activation rate of SHD permissions to date, and with a view to reducing the scope for the potential hoarding of sites with SHD permissions for the purpose of increasing site values, and notwithstanding the Review Group’s recommendation to continue monitoring the activation rate for a further period, I consider that it would be timely to introduce a “use it or lose it” measure now. Arising from the introduction of such measure, developers in receipt of an SHD planning permission will be required to commence a certain level of development works within 18 months of the grant of permission, otherwise the permission will lapse. The necessary legislation to bring this into effect will be urgently progressed.

Local Authority Housing Data

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]

View answer

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]

View answer

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]

View answer

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]

View answer

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.

Emergency Accommodation Data

Questions (1186, 1187)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1186. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of families including children in emergency housing accommodation by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45473/19]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1187. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the extent to which he can address the high number of families housed in emergency accommodation in lieu of local authority houses nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45474/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1186 and 1187 together.

My Department publishes a monthly report on homelessness. The monthly report is based on data provided by housing authorities and produced through the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS). The most recently published report, in respect of September 2019, shows that there were a total of 10,397 individuals in emergency accommodation, including 6,524 adults and 3,873 dependants (including 1,756 families). Data in relation to families and dependants are not collated on a county basis by my Department but are available at regional level and are published on my Department's website at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/homeless_report_-_september_20191.pdf.

Supporting families experiencing homelessness is a priority for this Government. In 2016, the Government published the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness. Rebuilding Ireland is designed to significantly increase the supply of social housing by 50,000 homes in the period to 2021, double the output of overall housing to at least 25,000 homes per annum by 2020, support all tenure types (social, private and rental), and tackle homelessness comprehensively. In 2018, 8,000 new social homes were delivered nationally and this year, a further 10,000 new social homes will be delivered.

Budget 2020 has increased funding available to local authorities to provide homeless accommodation and related services to €166m, an increase of €20m on this year’s budget. While the priority is to support families to secure a home, the Government is also committed to ensuring that appropriate emergency accommodation is available until a home can be provided. In this regard, the Government is providing funding to local authorities to develop and operate family hubs. To date, 29 family hubs have been developed nationally, providing almost 680 units of family accommodation.

Rebuilding Ireland is delivering significant results in supporting exits from homelessness. In 2018, 5,135 adults exited homelessness into homes, an 8.6% increase on 2017. I expect that the numbers of exits from homelessness will increase again in 2019.

Local Authority Housing Provision

Question No. 1189 answered with Question No. 1185.

Questions (1188)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1188. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the extent to which he has ongoing discussions with the various local authorities with a view to early action to provide permanent accommodation for families including children or lone applicants on the local authority waiting list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45475/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

In March of this year, I wrote to all local authorities setting out their social housing targets for 2019 across all delivery streams. These social housing targets are publicly available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/social-housing-targets-2019/.

Progress against targets is tracked on a quarterly basis. The most recent report sets out the position at the end of Quarter 2 of 2019 and is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/housing-statistics.

I meet regularly with the Chief Executives of all the local authorities in relation to the advancement of social housing, in line with the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan. I most recently met the Chief Executives in September, and that followed on from a Housing Summit, which I held with them in February.

Following my meetings with the Chief Executives, targeted sessions have been held between my Department and local authority senior management to specifically discuss social housing delivery.

I and my Department have ongoing and extensive engagement with all local authorities across all delivery streams to ensure maximum delivery of homes for those who need them. The allocation of homes to those on the social housing waiting lists is, however, a matter entirely for the relevant Local Authority.

Question No. 1189 answered with Question No. 1185.

Local Authority Housing Funding

Questions (1190, 1197, 1198)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1190. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the funding sought by each local authority for the purpose of providing local authority houses by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45477/19]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1197. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the extent to which funding under the Rebuilding Ireland programme in respect of 2019 has been made available to or drawn down by Kildare County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45484/19]

View answer

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1198. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the extent to which his Department has directly funded the house building programme of Kildare County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45485/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1190, 1197 and 1198 together.

The implementation of Rebuilding Ireland is a key Government priority supported by significant annual investment. For 2019 alone, funding of €2.4 billion is being provided for all housing programmes with a further €2.63 billion available in 2020.

This investment will see the housing needs of almost 27,400 households being met in 2019, of which 10,000 will be new social housing homes delivered through build, acquisition and long term leasing programmes. In 2020, we are targeting delivery of over 11,000 homes though build, acquisition and leasing.

Below are details of both the capital and current funding my Department has provided to each local authority, including Kildare County Council, for the delivery of housing services under Rebuilding Ireland.

2016

€m

2017

€m

2018

€m

2019 (to end Sept)

€m

Carlow

12.0

17.7

22.5

20.3

Cavan

7.5

9.9

13.8

7.9

Clare

12.3

23.8

29.1

22.0

Cork City

58.2

47.5

86.3

63.2

Cork County

43.4

62.3

94.4

58.9

DL Rathdown

27.5

57.2

51.1

19.5

Donegal

12.3

23.0

25.1

16.0

Dublin City

230.0

301.8

439.9

303.3

Fingal

34.9

76.9

127.6

80.2

Galway City

13.4

20.5

28.7

23.9

Galway County

11.4

11.7

23.8

20.0

Kerry

17.1

25.4

45.5

28.5

Kildare

41.8

61.5

91.9

89.1

Kilkenny

16.5

24.4

42.8

31.3

Laois

10.4

17.0

13.4

11.5

Leitrim

3.7

2.9

5.0

4.0

Limerick

97.2

212.1

346.2

317.1

Longford

4.9

7.0

15.8

12.7

Louth

21.2

19.7

34.3

34.1

Mayo

14.7

15.1

18.0

18.3

Meath

27.7

30.2

64.4

38.1

Monaghan

8.9

17.2

16.5

15.3

Offaly

8.5

10.3

15.7

18.0

Roscommon

5.4

9.4

7.4

7.9

Sligo

12.2

15.2

20.1

14.7

South Dublin

52.8

71.9

126.2

66.3

Tipperary

24.2

30.3

43.6

24.8

Waterford

22.9

19.9

50.5

22.8

Westmeath

11.8

16.2

22.1

21.1

Wexford

19.5

29.4

46.3

26.0

Wicklow

15.0

11.9

42.1

31.4

The scale of the funding available has allowed us to approved a significant social housing build programme nationally, a detailed breakdown of which is 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/.

Local Authority Housing Funding

Question No. 1192 answered with Question No. 1185.

Questions (1191)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

1191. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the conditions applicable in respect of funding sought by local authorities for the purpose of providing directly built local authority houses in their functional areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [45478/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

Like all publicly-funded construction projects, the construction of new social housing must comply with the Government’s Capital Works Management Framework (CWMF), the objectives of which are to ensure cost certainty, value for money and financial accountability.

There are nine stages of review in the CWMF, which my Department has streamlined to just four, for social housing construction projects. The working arrangement for this four-stage process means that local authorities forward design proposals and costings to my Department sequentially, as they advance the projects through their own planning work. As projects are being reviewed under one stage, work can continue on other stages of that project, as well as on other new build projects. To illustrate the non-onerous nature of this process, a summary of the four stages is as follows:

Stage 1 – Forward Capital Appraisal to verify the business case and basic project suitability – this is a light presentation of information; detailed designs and costs are not needed at this initial stage.

Stage 2 – Forward Pre-planning outline design and cost check – this involves the designs that are required for the Part 8 planning process and the outline costs; detailed designs and resulting costs are not needed at this stage until planning permission is obtained.

Stage 3 – Pre-tender design and costs check – this stage arises after the more detailed designs and cost estimates have been prepared by the local authority design team. If costs are consistent with the earlier stages, then this review will be swift.

Stage 4 – Tender approval from Department – he tenders have been received and assessed by the local authority and again, if costs are consistent with the earlier stages, this review will be swift.

These stages are the minimum number to allow my Department’s Secretary General - as Accounting Officer - to make the annual declaration regarding the proper management of public funds in terms of the CWMF. It also is what is required to meet the requirements of the C&AG on public funding oversight.

My Department also operates a single-stage approval process for smaller scale projects and a three-stage process for rapid build/modular build projects, where the contractor is delivering on a design/build basis. These arrangements demonstrate the Government's commitment to the accelerated delivery of new social housing.

My Department has no interest in unnecessarily prolonging the time involved in these approvals, other than to ensure compliance with Government-wide rules for capital project oversight. We will continue to work with local authorities to ensure that projects are progressed efficiently, while also delivering high quality design and good value for money for newly built social housing.

Question No. 1192 answered with Question No. 1185.