Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (49)

Bernard Durkan


49. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to outline the extent to which allocations under the heading of the local infrastructure housing activation fund, LIHAF, have been made for specific works in each local authority area; the extent to which such progress has been completed or progressed and if any are outstanding; his plans to allocate further funding in this area to meet exigencies that have arisen; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [38276/20]

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Oral answers (5 contributions) (Question to Housing)

We have three minutes left. Deputy Durkan may wish to skip the 30-second introduction.

I wish to comment apropos of the current discussion relating to housing. The local infrastructure housing activation fund, LIHAF, was a means of providing the infrastructure to facilitate local authority housing. I hope my question will come in tabular form. I trust it will set out, along with the Minister's view, what has happened so far, what is still outstanding and why it has not been completed.

The local infrastructure housing activation fund was designed to support housing supply by relieving critical infrastructure blockages. A total of 30 projects were approved with an overall budget of €195.7 million while €146.8 million was Exchequer funded and the remainder was funded by local authorities. Full details of the approvals are available on the Rebuilding Ireland website. The relevant website link is www.rebuildingireland.ie/LIHAF.

Of the 30 projects, two projects will not proceed. Kildare County Council has confirmed that the Naas inner relief road will not progress and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has confirmed that the Clay Farm project will now not proceed.

Currently, five LIHAF projects have completed infrastructure construction. Up to the end of October, a total of 12 projects were at infrastructure construction stage or had been approved to move to same. Of the remaining 11 projects, one is expected to have a tender approved in the fourth quarter of 2020 and to go to construction in the first quarter of 2021. A total of ten projects are not yet ready to go to infrastructure tender stage, a precursor to receive approval to proceed to construction.

My Department keeps all projects under review with the local authority. All funding under LIHAF is now fully committed and there are no proposals to make further allocations. The serviced sites fund of €310 million is now available to local authorities for facilitating infrastructure on their lands to support their delivery of affordable housing.

I thank the Minister of State for his comprehensive reply. In relation to the schemes that have been approved and the moneys that have been spent, to what extent has local authority house building or house building to meet the requirements of the local population been advanced?

In Naas in my constituency, a dispute arose in relation to the works concerned, which has resulted in a stalemate. What action is being taken to ensure that the alternative works proposed and supported by the local people, which are totally reasonable, can be advanced at this stage?

We can examine that within the Department and revert back to the Deputy. Of the five LIHAF projects at the end of October, Sallins in County Kildare is one that has been progressed, so there is good news. In terms of the sticking points, we will get back to the Deputy on the site in question.

Written Answers are published on the Oireachtas website.
Sitting suspended at 9.12 p.m. and resumed at 9.30 p.m.