Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Questions (510)

Seán Sherlock


510. Deputy Sean Sherlock asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 586 of 12 November 2019, if correspondence (details supplied) will be provided in respect of two local authorities regarding all matters relating to each social, affordable and mixed use housing development being considered or proposed including funding requests by the two local authorities since September 2018 to date. [48681/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I refer to the reply to Question No. 586 of 12 November 2019 on this matter, in which I indicated that to search for and provide the full breadth of correspondence sought would involve a disproportionate level of work.

As the Deputy will be aware, there is a vast number of housing projects in Cork City and County, including build, acquisition and leasing projects. This is In addition to a huge level of activity under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS), as well as the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) and the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF). In relation to social housing alone, the Social Housing Construction Status Report for Quarter 2 2019, for example, which was referred to in my previous reply, lists some 200 build projects and phases of projects for the 2 local authority areas, with over 3,000 associated homes. Each of these schemes has frequent contact points between my Department and the relevant local authority.

Many different Business Units in my Department would engage multiple times per week with officials in both local authorities. This correspondence could be broadly categorised as follows:

- Emails and letters in relation to applications for funding approval, including multiple exchanges of correspondence on files, documents, maps and drawings;

- Correspondence related to various stages after initial approval;

- Emails and letters in relation to affordable housing, including both general and specific proposals, guidance, circulars and funding;

- Queries, responses and updates on status of overall social and affordable housing programmes, and specific schemes including projects at proposal stage;

- Funding drawdown at various stages, including submission of, validation of and queries on invoices and payments;

- Arrangements for quarterly technical meetings to discuss existing and planned housing delivery programmes, including follow up correspondence and clarifications;

- Routine exchanges on queries on implementation of programmes between officials and local authority housing teams and the development of pipeline future activity; and

- Arrangements for meetings, including National and Regional Housing Summits, the Cork Social Housing Task Force meetings, including preparation of briefing, statistics, reports which include information on proposed and ongoing activity.

I trust that this information is helpful and that the Deputy can appreciate that the related correspondence could extend to thousands of records. Should the Deputy, however, have a particular interest in any of the categories outlined above, or a specific scheme or project, I will be happy to arrange for my Department to meet the Deputy on the matter.