Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Questions (76)

Brian Stanley


76. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he plans to change the practice by which development of council housing starts from a blank canvas design and to move to having generic designs for the various sizes and types of houses required whether that is one, two, three or four-bed units. [38267/20]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

In the interest of standardising the approach to good quality social housing design across the country and achieving value for money a number of initiatives have been identified.

In September 2019, the Employers Requirements document was published and issued to local authorities. This document provides clarity as to the general standards for materials, finishes and fittings to be provided in social housing. In setting the standards a balance is struck between initial capital costs, reasonable life expectancy and foreseeable maintenance costs during the lifetime of the dwelling. The document also sets out guidance on completion of tender documents, for best cost and programme control.

Separately and in addition, my officials are compiling standard internal layouts for social housing. This involves the development of quality economic design guidance and sample internal layouts for a variety of house types and apartments that meet the target floor areas. This work also includes sample site layouts illustrating efficient design in 2 – 4 storey developments. This work is nearing completion in draft format and it is intended to circulate it, for consultation, to local authorities before the end of this year.