Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Questions (230, 233)

Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

230. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the figures for the quarter 4 social housing output; and if he will provide a report on the total social housing output for 2020, by categories (details supplied). [2721/21]

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Eoin Ó Broin

Question:

233. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the number of social housing developments currently in the new one stage approval process; and the number of units of accommodation in these schemes. [2724/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 230 and 233 together.

Increasing the supply of housing, particularly new build social and affordable is a priority for my Department. The Programme for Government commits to increasing the social housing stock by more than 50,000, with an emphasis on new builds. In Budget 2021, we backed this objective with funding of €3.3 billion for the delivery of housing. The available funding will deliver 12,750 new social homes through build, acquisition and leasing. A major focus of this investment is the delivery of new build, with an overall target of 9,500 new homes and the increased build targets will see increased local authority build on local authority land.

In progressing this major construction programme it is important to pursue timely delivery while also ensuring value for money in terms of Exchequer funding. In this regard, social housing projects, like all publicly-funded construction projects, must comply with the Government’s Public Spending Code and Capital Works Management Framework (CWMF), the objectives of which are to ensure greater cost certainty, better value for money and financial accountability.

My Department, working with local authorities has sought to streamline the four-stage approval process for social housing and to introduce other measures to increase the pace of delivery. As a result of this work a pre-construction programme of 59 weeks was agreed, which includes design, Part 8 approval, detailed design, preparation of tender documentation, issuing tenders and tender reports. The 59-weeks includes 15 weeks for the requisite Department approvals, which occur in parallel with local authority activities where possible. Local authorities have been able to reduce this pre-construction timeline further using design and build frameworks. Off-site construction has also been used to reduce local authority construction timelines.

In September 2020 I increased the threshold for the Single-Stage Approval Process for local authority Social Housing Capital Construction Projects from €2m to €6m, to give further autonomy to local authorities to progress projects, under that Process which reduces the number of approvals sought from my Department from four to one. There are 21 projects (50 units) currently going through the single stage approval process. To date 35 projects (114 units) are on site or have completed having used the single stage process.

My Department publishes comprehensive programme level statistics on a quarterly basis on all social housing delivery activity. This is published on the statistics page of my Department’s website, at the following link: www.gov.ie/en/collection/6060e-overall-social-housing-provision/.

This data is complete to the end of Q3 2020. Data for Quarter 4 2020 is currently being complied and will be published when available.

The following revised reply was received on 1 February 2021.

I propose to take PQs 230 and 233 together.

Increasing the supply of housing, particularly new build social and affordable is a priority for my Department. The Programme for Government commits to increasing the social housing stock by more than 50,000, with an emphasis on new builds. In Budget 2021, we backed this objective with funding of €3.3 billion for the delivery of housing. The available funding will deliver 12,750 new social homes through build, acquisition and leasing. A major focus of this investment is the delivery of new build, with an overall target of 9,500 new homes and the increased build targets will see increased local authority build on local authority land.

In progressing this major construction programme it is important to pursue timely delivery while also ensuring value for money in terms of Exchequer funding. In this regard, social housing projects, like all publicly-funded construction projects, must comply with the Government’s Public Spending Code and Capital Works Management Framework (CWMF), the objectives of which are to ensure greater cost certainty, better value for money and financial accountability.

My Department, working with local authorities has sought to streamline the four-stage approval process for social housing and to introduce other measures to increase the pace of delivery. As a result of this work a pre-construction programme of 59 weeks was agreed, which includes design, Part 8 approval, detailed design, preparation of tender documentation, issuing tenders and tender reports. The 59-weeks includes 15 weeks for the requisite Department approvals, which occur in parallel with local authority activities where possible. Local authorities have been able to reduce this pre-construction timeline further using design and build frameworks. Off-site construction has also been used to reduce local authority construction timelines.

In September 2020 I increased the threshold for the Single-Stage Approval Process for local authority Social Housing Capital Construction Projects from €2m to €6m, to give further autonomy to local authorities to progress projects, under that Process which reduces the number of approvals sought from my Department from four to one. There are 21 projects (50 units) currently going through the single stage approval process. To date 37 projects (121 units) are on site or have completed having used the single stage process.

My Department publishes comprehensive programme level statistics on a quarterly basis on all social housing delivery activity. This is published on the statistics page of my Department’s website, at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/6060e-overall-social-housing-provision/.

This data is complete to the end of Q3 2020. Data for Quarter 4 2020 is currently being complied and will be published when available.