Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (304, 305)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

304. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the full cost per unit of council houses built in County Donegal in each of the years 2016 to 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form. [6539/21]

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Pádraig MacLochlainn

Question:

305. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the full cost per unit of turnkey public housing units in County Donegal in each of the years 2016 to 2020 and to date in 2021, in tabular form. [6540/21]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 304 and 305 together.

Under the Social Housing Investment Programme, my Department provides capital funding to all local authorities, including Donegal County Council, for the delivery of new social homes via their own social housing construction programme, through turnkey arrangements and through acquisitions. As capital-funded construction projects by local authorities must, like all publicly-funded construction projects, comply with the Public Spending Code and the Capital Works Management Framework my Department periodically issues Unit Cost Ceilings (UCCs) for each local authority area, for use as a key benchmark for the development and costing of scheme designs at capital appraisal stage. While not a record of actual delivery costs, UCCs are based on an analysis of returned data from tendered social housing schemes over an extended period and updated based on published tender index information as required.

To monitor tender cost trends and to inform the UCCs levels, my Department analyses the tender data for the construction cost element of new build social housing schemes approved under the four stage approval processes for each unit type, where sufficient information is available to allow such costs to be extrapolated and where the information available is appropriate for comparison purposes.

Outlined below are the average construction costs (including VAT) for the social homes delivered by Donegal County Council through their own social housing construction programme in each of the years 2016 to 2020, as recorded as part of the aforementioned analysis. The tables also set out the range of costs that make up this average. The range of costs recorded vary, depending on design, type of units, location and on the level of abnormal requirements for each scheme, for instance existing site conditions, demolitions, service diversions and site access requirements. Abnormal costs are also separately identified in the following tables.

xTable

The above costs relate to the construction element of the all-in delivery cost. Other items that make up the all-in total include:

Design/technical fees: Design fees vary from project to project, depending on the location, size and complexity of a scheme (and depending on whether design services are provided by a local authority in-house or via external appointment). As a guideline/indicator, design fees are generally expected to range between 7.5% to 12.5% of construction costs.

Land cost: Land costs can vary significantly from project to project, depending on location and ownership status (e.g. varying from existing local authority land at no cost, to land purchased at market value).

Utilities: These include connection fees for Irish Water, ESB, Gas, etc. As a guideline/indicator, utility connection costs are generally in the order of €7,000 per unit.

Other Costs: Other items that can make up the 'all-in' delivery cost include site investigations/surveys, archaeological requirements, 'Percent for Art' contributions, etc. and will vary from project to project.

Outlined as follows are the average costs of the social homes contracted by Donegal County Council through turnkey arrangements in each of the years 2016 and to end-February 2021.

Year

Average Cost Per Unit

2016

N/A

2017

N/A

2018

€153,705

2019

€192,687

2020

€167,218

In addition to the above costs, my Department also provides funding of up to 2% for the associated legal/professional fees incurred by the local authority in relation to new social homes delivered via turnkey arrangements, as well as an administration fee, typically €2,000 per unit.

I look forward to working with Donegal County Council in delivering on the commitment in the Programme for Government to increase the social housing stock by over 50,000 over the next five years. Since taking up office, this commitment has been my key priority and focus. This is evidenced in Budget 2021 which provides record funding for housing of €3.3 billion overall.

Construction Costs (incl abnormals)

Abnormal Costs

Year

Average Cost Per Unit

Range of Average Costs Per Unit

Average Cost Per Unit

Range of Average Costs Per Unit

2016

€155,211

€155k - €155k

€24,165

€24k - €24k

2017

€163,140

€163k - €163k

€16,900

€17k - €17k

2018

€175,891

€156k - €197k

€29,046

€17k - €41k

2019

€186,255

€184k - €191k

€24,759

€16k - €28k

2020

€211,942

€208k - €213k

€37,394

€31k - €55k