Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (126)

Catherine Connolly


126. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage further to Parliamentary Question No. 55 of 6 October 2020,the status of the work of the Galway social housing task force; if he has received the further report from the chair of the task force; the number of times the task force has met to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38365/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Galway Social Housing Taskforce is continuing its work in line with its terms of reference, with five meetings to date in 2020. The Galway Councils have a combined target of just over 2,000 social housing homes to be delivered through build, acquisitions and leasing in the period 2018 to 2021. The work of the Taskforce confirms that the Councils remain strongly committed to improving and accelerating social housing delivery in Galway across both local authority areas.

An update provided by the Chair of the Taskforce earlier this year confirmed that both local authorities are intensively involved in the Taskforce’s work and that it is providing them with an important opportunity for direct, roundtable dialogue with my Department, the Housing Agency and the Approved Housing Body sector, so that each Galway authority can be supported in building the momentum essential for expanded delivery.

My Department engages with the Taskforce Chair regularly and I understand that the Chief Executives of both authorities report to their Councils on the work of the Taskforce following each meeting.

The construction of new social homes has accelerated significantly in Galway, with 278 homes being delivered in 2019, a substantial increase on the 100 delivered in 2018. An overview of construction activity in each local authority is detailed in the Social Housing Construction Status Report, which provides scheme level detail on new build activity in all local authorities including Galway City and County.

The most recent publication covers the period up to the end of Q2 2020 and is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: https://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-obrien-publishes-social-housing-construction-status-report-for-q2-2020/. The report shows at the end of Q2 2020 there were 731 homes in the construction pipeline for delivery in Galway and this is being added to on a continuing basis, as additional proposals are brought forward by the Councils. I want this momentum to be sustained and I have assured them, and all local authorities, of my full support in delivering on their ambition.