Grant Payments

Questions (86)

Brendan Griffin

Question:

86. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if grant aid is available to renovate old farm buildings into holiday homes; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7659/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I am informed by Fáilte Ireland that all accommodation projects, including those involving the renovation of private property, are currently ineligible under its capital grants schemes. However, I understand that the LEADER programme supports private enterprises and community groups who improve quality of life and economic activity in rural areas. Accordingly, proposals such as those referred to by the Deputy might best be directed to the relevant Local Action Group.

Maoiniú d'Eagrais Ghaeilge

Questions (87)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Question:

87. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán na hionaid Gaeilge, ceannáras eagraíochta ina measc, timpeall na tíre, laistigh agus lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht, a liostú i dteannta na suime airgead atá tugtha dóibh go díreach, nó go hindíreach trí chomhairlí cathrach nó contae, Údarás na Gaeltachta nó Foras na Gaeilge maidir le hárachas, tógáil, atógáil, deisiúchán, maisiúchán, cóiriú nó ath-choiriú do gach bliain le 20 bliain anuas. [7665/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

Tugadh gealltanas sonrach i gClár an Rialtais go “ndéanfar forbairt Ionaid Ghaeilge i mBaile Átha Cliath agus ar fud na tíre a chur chun cinn ar mhaithe le cur chuige pobail-bhunaithe i leith chur chun cinn na Gaeilge”.

Dar ndóigh, ní dhearnadh leis an ngealltanas seo ach tógáil ar an méid a gealladh roimhe seo i leith na nIonad Gaeilge faoi Phlean Gníomhaíochta an Rialtais 2018-2022 don Ghaeilge (gníomh 4.12 agus 4.13 go sonrach) agus faoin bPlean Forbartha Náisiúnta 2018-2027 (faoi Thionscadal Éireann 2040).

Ar bhonn praiticiúil, déanann mo Roinnse tacaíocht shonrach a thabhairt d’fhorbairt Ionad Gaeilge, lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht, tríd na Scéimeanna Tacaíochta Gaeilge (Clár Caipitil), le hallúntas de €2 mhilliún ann i mbliana.

Is féidir le coistí/eagraíochtaí pobalbhunaithe, a fheidhmíonn trí Ghaeilge lasmuigh den Ghaeltacht, iarratas a dhéanamh faoi Scéimeanna Tacaíochta Gaeilge na Roinne. Cuirtear maoiniú ar fáil chun cabhrú leis na costais a bhaineann le hionaid Ghaeilge a thógáil/athchóiriú agus chun foirgnimh a cheannach le húsáid mar ionad Gaeilge agus/nó trealamh a cheannach dá leithéid d’ionaid.

Is é an cuspóir atá leis an gcuidiú caipitil a chuirtear ar fáil faoin gciste seo an Ghaeilge a threisiú mar theanga pobail agus teaghlaigh i gcomhréir le cuspóirí Acht na Gaeltachta 2012 agus na Straitéise 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010-2030. Tá tuilleadh eolais faoin scéim seo le fáil ar shuíomh idirlín na Roinne anseo.

Maidir leis an eolas sonrach a bhí á lorg ag an Teachta sa Cheist Dála seo, ní miste a nótáil gur iondúil gur ó dháta bunaithe na Roinne nua ar féidir ceisteanna den saghas seo a fhreagairt.

É sin ráite áfach, ar mhaithe le heolas iomlánach a chur ar fáil faoin scéim shonrach a bhaineann leis na hIonaid Ghaeilge, feicfidh an Teachta go bhfuil na sonraí a iarradh ó 2018 ar aghaidh curtha ar fáil thíos - i ndáil leis na gealltanais a tugadh ó 2018 ar aghaidh sa Phlean Gníomhaíochta 2018-2022 agus sa Phlean Forbartha Náisiúnta 2018-2027. Is íocaíochtaí iad seo a rinne an Roinn go díreach leis na heagraíochtaí seo.

Ionaid Ghaeilge faoi na Scéimeanna Tacaíochta Gaeilge (Clár Caipitil): 2018 go dáta

Eagraíocht/Ionad Gaeilge

Méid Íoctha

Conradh na Gaeilge – Forbairt ar Lárionad Gaeilge i mBÁC

2018: €22,000 (Staidéar Féidearthachta)2019: €42,500

Gaelphobal Thamhlachta (BÁC)

2019: €23,290

Áras Chrónáin (Cluain Dolcáin, BÁC)

2019: €31,825

Áras Mhic Amhlaigh (Gaillimh)

2020: €730,938

Anuas ar an méid thuas, de réir fhoclaíocht na Ceiste Dála, tá tograí eile a d’fhéadfaí a aithint mar ‘Ionad Gaeilge’ nach dtagann faoin scéim thuasluaite. Tá sonraí na gceann sin a rinneadh íocaíocht leo ó mhí Mheán Fómhair 2020, go dáta - i gcomhréir le bunú oifigiúil na Roinne nua - le feiceáil sa tábla thíos. Tá siad seo uile lonnaithe laistigh den Ghaeltacht.

Tograí aitheanta eile: MF 2020 go dáta

Eagraíocht/Ionad Gaeilge

Saghas Íocaíochta

Méid Íoctha

Áras Scéal an Atlantaigh Fhiáin (Maigh Eo)

Íoctha tríd Údarás na Gaeltachta faoin gClár Tacaíochtaí Pobail agus Teanga

2020: €316,000

Ionad Cultúrtha an Phiarsaigh (Gaillimh)

Íoctha tríd Údarás na Gaeltachta faoin gClár Tacaíochtaí Pobail agus Teanga

2020: €110,848

Comhlacht Forbartha Inis Meáin – Carcair an Leacht (Gaillimh)

Íoctha go díreach faoin gClár Tacaíochtaí Pobail agus Teanga

2020: €14,325 (Seirbhísí Gairmiúla)

2020: €77,032

Áislann Chill Chartha (Dún na nGall)

Íoctha go díreach faoin gClár Tacaíochtaí Pobail agus Teanga

2020: €2,991

Leis seo thíos chomh maith, tá liosta de thograí mar seo atá maoinithe ag Údarás na Gaeltachta:

Ainm/Togra

Méid Íoctha / Ceadaithe 2020

Muintearas, Páirc Gnó Ghaoth Dobhair

€9,700

Togra Ealaíona ar Pháirc Gnó Ghaoth Dobhair

€50,000

Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta

€5,165

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Questions (88)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Question:

88. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media if she plans to introduce another scheme to support those with a turnover of less than €50,000, many of whom operate in small rural areas, in the Gaeltacht and on the islands, given that the Covid support scheme recently announced by Fáilte Ireland for the tourism industry only assists businesses with turnover of more than €50,000 per annum; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7697/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

The July Stimulus and Budget 2021 provided a significant package of tax and fiscal measures to build the resilience of the economy and to help vulnerable but viable businesses across all sectors. Key measures for the tourism sector include:

- A €55 million business continuity scheme to help strategic tourism business survive the pandemic and drive recovery

- The VAT rate for the Sector was reduced to 9% to help improve competitiveness and viability of businesses.

- Two separate funds of €10 million each were introduced for Coach Tourism Operators and Ireland Based Inbound Agents Business Continuity Scheme in the last quarter of 2020.

- Funding of €5 million has also been provided for upskilling training and to improve digital presence.

- A €26 million adaptation fund for the tourism sector to adapt their premises to meet COVID-19 safety requirements.

- €8 million was also provided for a Restart Grant Plus to include B&B accommodation.

In addition, the Government has introduced a number of horizontal measures that have been of assistance to the tourism sector including the Employee Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), the Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS), tax warehousing, and the Commercial Rates waiver.

In regard to the recently announced Fáilte Ireland scheme, this was a specific measure in the Budget to support strategic tourism businesses in meeting their fixed costs and should be seen within the context of broader horizontal supports such as the CRSS, EWSS, PUP and the ReStart Grant. It is intended that it will open for applications for the first phase of the scheme 11th February and it will contribute to the fixed costs of identified strategic tourism businesses that are not eligible for CRSS to support their survival.

The measures introduced to date have been critical in assisting tourism businesses to survive the hugely challenging situation brought about by the pandemic. While there are currently no plans to introduce further schemes I, along with my colleagues in Government, will continue to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that appropriate supports are in place to mitigate the economic impacts.

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Questions (89)

Gary Gannon

Question:

89. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media the supports available for the most iconic cultural venues in Dublin city to ensure they survive; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [7795/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Tourism)

I am pleased to inform the Deputy that I secured significant increases in the operational budgets of the National Cultural Institutions (NCIs) for 2021. The NCIs encompass many of Dublin's iconic cultural venues including the National Gallery, the Irish Museum of Modern Art at the Royal Hospital Kilmainham, the National Library, the National Museum, Collins Barracks, the Natural History Museum, the Chester Beatty Library, the National Archives and the National Concert Hall. Funding for the NCIs increased from €48.9m in 2020 to €60.2m in 2021; an increase of 23% in a single year.

In addition, there is a €460m investment programme for our NCIs to modernise these centuries old buildings so that they can provide a modern state of the art home for our national collections. Despite the pandemic, construction work continued when possible during 2020 and progress continues to be made on the appraisal and planning phases of this programme of investment.

In response to COVID-19, my Department opened a further stream (Stream D) of funding specifically for capital adaptations or equipment necessary to assist arts and culture organisations in re-opening. Under this stream capital funding is provided to assist in the re-opening of theatres, arts centres and culture venues as part of Project Ireland 2040. Capital grants of up to €10,000 have been provided to arts and culture facilities including venues in Dublin (and elsewhere) to allow them to re-open safely. Since the scheme opened last July, 77 capital grants have been made and €382,000 drawn down by the grantees.

Primary support for the arts, including a number of cultural venues particularly theatres, is delivered by the Arts Council. In 2021, the Government allocated €130m to the Arts Council which is an increase of 62% over the amount initially allocated for 2020. The Arts Council, which is independent in its funding decisions under the Arts Act 2003 and provides support to venues. The Council have in place a number of new and enhanced funding programmes which have been introduced in response to COVID-19 and includes an Emergency Stabilisation Fund to provide once-off financial support to Strategic Funded and Arts Centre Funded organisations that are in need of emergency grant aid.

In addition, my Department funded a range of performances at venues nationwide under the pilot Live Performance Support Scheme. These included performances in Dublin venues such as the Olympia Theatre and Whelan's on Wexford Street.

Finally, in line with a commitment in the Programme for Government, I established a Night-time Economy Taskforce last July which is affording an opportunity for relevant stakeholders from across the night-time culture sector to develop an innovative approach to supporting and developing a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable night-time economy across Ireland, including our capital city.

Waterways Issues

Questions (90)

John Paul Phelan

Question:

90. Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the actions that can be taken to allow Waterways Ireland to carry out standard maintenance works on canal and river tracks to ensure that public access to these amenities is protected despite recent prohibitions by the National Parks and Wildlife Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7506/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I am informed that the National Parks and Wildlife Service of my Department has not prohibited ongoing routine maintenance works along the waterways under the remit of Waterways Ireland. The Deputy's information in this regards would appear to be erroneous.

Waterways Ireland has an open and proactive relationship with the National Parks and Wildlife Service in the fulfilment of their respective statutory functions.

Waterways Ireland has responsibility to manage seven waterways which are partially or wholly contained within nature conservation sites. These sites include those designated under:

- the Birds and Natural Habitats Regulations (2011) (e.g. including the Barrow Navigation within the River Barrow and Nore SAC);

- proposed Natural Heritage Areas designated under the Wildlife Act (2000, as amended) (e.g. Royal and Grand Canal);

- and waterways which are not designated, but are subject to other requirements of wildlife legislation.

Maintenance works along its waterways are informed and guided by legislative requirements and best practice, as applies to all landowners. The maintenance and management of its waterways are undertaken in accordance with exemptions provided under the Planning and Development Regulations (as amended) and the Birds and Natural Habitats Regulations (2011, as amended).

However, in certain instances where Appropriate Assessment is required these exemptions no longer apply. Waterways Ireland is then obliged to apply for planning permission to the relevant County Council (including for emergency works), as these are the competent authorities to complete the Appropriate Assessment, as stipulated in the aforementioned legislation.

Waterways Ireland has taken the proactive step to progress the development of a schedule of maintenance activities for the Barrow Navigation, as a result of the above planning implications in fulfilling its statutory remit. This will detail the necessary maintenance needed over a 5-year period, recognising the requirement for Appropriate Assessment, with the production of a Natura Impact Statement. This will then be submitted to the relevant County Councils (as the competent authorities) for planning permission.

The process is being undertaken with the assistance of specialist environmental and planning consultants to ensure an open, transparent and independent assessment. Public and stakeholder engagement will also be a core element of its approach.

Public Parks

Questions (91)

Jennifer Whitmore

Question:

91. Deputy Jennifer Whitmore asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage his plans to encourage local authorities to provide communities with temporary access to publicly owned land that is lying idle for the benefit of local community purposes such as allotments, community gardens and other outdoor uses given the continuation of Covid-19 regulations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7525/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

Section 67 of the Local Government Act 2001 provides that a local authority may take measures or engage in activities that it considers necessary to promote the interests of the local community in relation to matters such as allotments, fairs or markets, and the public use of amenities, to name just a few.

While the relevant legislative provisions come under my remit, I have no function in terms of directing local authorities regarding the operation of local authority allotments or community gardens.

Local authorities are entirely independent corporate entities having full responsibility under law for the performance of their functions. The question of allowing communities temporary access to publicly owned land is a matter that is proper to each local authority while taking full account of the wider public health guidance and advice from the Department of Health and the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) in the context of the ongoing implementation and management of public health measures.

Local Authority Funding

Questions (92)

John Paul Phelan

Question:

92. Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage when the new funding model for local authorities will be introduced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7489/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

In 2018, the then Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform initiated an Inter-Departmental review of Local Property Tax (LPT). The purpose of the review was to inform the Minister in relation to any actions he may recommend to Government concerning the overall yield from LPT and its contribution to total tax revenue.

As the LPT review did not primarily concern itself with the allocation mechanism to individual authorities, it was important that a framework be established regarding the allocation of any additional funding that might be available to the local government sector as a consequence of any changes to LPT. Therefore, in May 2018, the then Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government separately initiated a Local Government Funding (Baseline) Review to help inform the distribution of any such funding that may become available for general operational purposes. The Minister for Finance subsequently decided to defer the next valuation date for LPT liabilities from 1 November 2020 to 1 November 2021 and the finalisation of the baseline review process was deferred.

The Programme for Government 'Our Shared Future', commits to bringing about reforms in the workings of LPT. These reforms will involve bringing new homes, which are currently exempt from LPT, into the taxation system as well as providing for all money collected locally to be retained within the county. This will also be done on the basis that those counties with a lower LPT base are adjusted via an annual national equalisation fund paid from the Exchequer, as is currently the case. It is my intention that an examination of local authority funding baselines will be considered in this context this year.

Commercial Rates

Questions (93)

Niall Collins

Question:

93. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage his views on matters raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7527/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

One of the earliest priorities for Minister O'Brien and I was to secure exchequer funding to support a waiver of commercial rates for businesses impacted by the pandemic, while simultaneously supporting local authorities.

€900m was allocated by Government to fund the cost of a rates waiver from 27 March to 27 December 2020. This meant that for eligible businesses, such as those in the hospitality sector, their commercial rates were funded by Government for nine months of 2020. This was an unprecedented measure, which offered support to businesses and financial certainty to local authorities. As with all local charges, the invoicing and collection of the remaining three months of commercial rates for 2020, is a matter for the local authority concerned to manage in the light of prevailing local circumstances and in accordance with normal collection procedures. In practice, it is understood that most local authorities promote the use of direct debit payment facilities and work with businesses to put in place flexible payment options that reflect capacity to pay. Any business with concerns in that regard may wish to engage directly with the rates department of the relevant local authority.

In order to continue supporting businesses and other ratepayers, and in recognition of the ongoing impacts of COVID 19 and the associated public health restrictions, the Government recently announced that a more targeted commercial rates waiver will be applied in the first quarter of 2021 to businesses most seriously affected by ongoing restrictions. €160 million has been allocated to meet the cost of this waiver and details were issued to local authorities on 27 January 2021. Automatic eligibility is extended to retail, hospitality including hotels, pubs and restaurants, leisure and entertainment, personal services such as hairdressers and barbers, health services and various other categories. Businesses in other sectors may engage directly with their local authorities if they can demonstrate serious financial impact and may also qualify for this waiver.

As has been the case since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, my Department will continue to engage with the local government sector and with individual local authorities on the financial impacts of the pandemic. As with all public health measures and associated supports, the waiver of commercial rates will be kept under review.

Commercial rates are separate and distinct from the Restart Grant introduced by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment during 2020.

Housing Provision

Questions (94)

Thomas Gould

Question:

94. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the percentage of affordable, social and private houses, respectively, to be built on the St. Kevin's site in Cork city. [7543/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Land Development Agency (LDA) was established on an interim basis in September 2018, by way of an Establishment Order made under the Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act 1971, pending the enactment of primary legislation when it will be established as a commercial State agency. The LDA Bill has now been published and will shortly be brought before the Oireachtas.

The LDA are currently working on a HSE owned 14.5 acre site on the grounds of St. Kevin’s Hospital, Cork. The LDA have advised my Department that the development will be an affordable housing led scheme, providing mixed tenure housing and will deliver approximately 266 units. An Strategic Housing Development planning application for the site was lodged with An Bord Pleanála last year and the exact housing mix will not be finalised until planning permission is granted.

As with all State bodies operating under the aegis of my Department, arrangements have been put in place by the LDA through which Oireachtas members can request information directly from the Agency in relation to operational matters - in this regard, the LDA may be contacted directly at oireachtas@lda.ie.

Local Authority Funding

Questions (95, 96)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

95. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the analytical mechanism used to ensure a fair distribution of resources and funding to each county; if he will provide this Deputy with the evidence and-or briefing supplied to him to support same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7546/21]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

96. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage if he plans to design a manual of funding streams and to streamline funding opportunities for local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7547/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 95 and 96 together.

As outlined in the replies to Parliamentary Questions No. 333 and 334 of 27 January 2021, my Department engages regularly with the local government sector and with individual local authorities on their financial situations.

The Budget 2021 Expenditure Report, published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, details my Department's Abridged Estimates (Part III), and gives information on the estimated current and capital allocations for 2021 in respect of each relevant programme/scheme, on the basis of the financial provision made for my Department following decisions made in the context of Budget 2021. The Expenditure Report can be found at the following link: https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/32999-expenditure-report/. The Report does not include additional funding for housing purposes provided by certain local authorities from Local Property Tax (LPT) receipts, amounting to some €91.5 million in 2021.

Additional detail on Central Government funding of local authorities is provided in the Comptroller and Auditor General's Annual Report, accessible at the following link:

https://www.audit.gov.ie/en/Find-Report/Publications/2020/2019-Annual-Report-Chapter-2-Central-government-funding-of-local-authorities.pdf

I have no current plans to develop further guidelines for local authorities in respect of my Department's funding streams. The vast majority of funding from central to local government is for specified purposes, relevant to the role of the funding Department or agency. There are established forums through which funding programmes are discussed, such as through engagement with the City and County Management Association. Information on these individual programmes and schemes is available to local authorities through this regular direct engagement, as well as indirectly via the website, publications and announcements.

General purpose funding for local authorities predominantly comes from commercial rates, charges for goods and services and from LPT allocations. Local retention of LPT began in 2015 and since then the overall principles and allocation methodology have broadly remained the same. 80% of LPT is retained in the area it is collected, with the other 20% supporting equalisation for local authorities with LPT bases lower than their funding baseline. Baselines are linked for the most part to funding previously allocated to local authorities as General Purpose Grants; LPT allocations replaced these grants from 2015 on. The Programme for Government 'Our Shared Future', commits to bringing about reforms in the workings of LPT. These reforms will involve bringing new homes, which are currently exempt from LPT, into the taxation system as well as providing for all money collected locally to be retained within the county. This will also be done on the basis that those counties with a lower LPT base are adjusted via an annual national equalisation fund paid from the Exchequer, as is currently the case. It is my intention that an examination of local authority funding baselines will be considered in this context this year. As regards evidence, the position as outlined has been consistently articulated, both by myself and Minister O'Brien, by previous office holders and by officials from my Department as part of their engagement with Oireachtas Committees.

Departmental Funding

Questions (97, 102, 103, 104, 106)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

97. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes available from his Department in respect of local authority housing; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7549/21]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

102. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes that are available from his Department in respect of housing grants for private homes and local authority housing; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7554/21]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

103. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes that are available from his Department in respect of energy efficiency retrofitting local authority housing; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7555/21]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

104. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes that are available from his Department in respect of estate regeneration for local authority housing; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7556/21]

View answer

Catherine Murphy

Question:

106. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes that are available from his Department in respect of voluntary housing and local authority housing; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7558/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 97, 102 to 104, inclusive, and 106 together.

My Department provides funding for a wide range of programmes and supports to assist households with their housing needs. This includes the delivery of new social homes through local authority and Approved Housing Body led programmes, other forms of social housing delivery such as HAP and RAS, targeted supports to meet the housing needs of specific groups and programmes to maintain households within their existing housing through improvement, upgrading and adaptation works.

The data in respect of the specific funding streams requested, broken down at local authority level for 2018, 2019 and 2020, is set out in the tables linked below.

xTable

More broadly, over €7 billion has been spent on the full range of housing programmes over the period 2018–2020. The major investment in housing will continue this year with €3.3 billion being made available for the delivery of all housing programmes.

Further details in respect of capital and current Housing programmes and associated funding provisions are set out in the Revised Estimates Volumes at the following link:

https://www.gov.ie/en/collection/e20037-revised-estimates/?referrer=/en/rev/

Departmental Funding

Questions (98)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

98. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes available from his Department in respect of natural and built heritage; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7550/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department operates a number of funding schemes to support natural and built heritage projects. The tables below set out the funding received by local authorities from my Department for each year 2018, 2019 and 2020 through these schemes. Where payments were made other than to a local authority, these have been excluded.

The Local Authority Biodiversity Grant Scheme operated by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) of my Department provides funding to assist local authority biodiversity officers or heritage officers (in local authorities without a biodiversity officer) with the implementation of projects that promote actions contained in the National Biodiversity Action Plan 2017-2021. The current National Biodiversity Action Plan, Ireland’s third, captures the objectives, targets and actions for biodiversity to be undertaken by a wide range of government, civil society and private sectors to achieve Ireland’s vision for biodiversity.

Financial support is also provided by my Department for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through a number of grant schemes which are, in the main, administered by the local authorities. The Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) is a scheme for the repair and conservation of structures on the local authority RPS. It is designed to leverage private capital for investment in small scale conservation projects across the country and to support the employment of skilled conservation professionals. The Historic Structures Fund (HSF), succeeded the Structures at Risk Fund (HSF) in 2019. It is for conservation and enhancement to heritage structures and historic buildings, in both private and public ownership, for the benefit of communities and the public. In addition, last year I introduced the Community Monuments Fund (CMF) for conservation and other works at our recorded monuments.

Under the July Jobs Stimulus Package (JJSP) 2020, additional funding was provided for built heritage projects and such payments to local authorities are also included in the relevant table. Funding

Departmental Funding

Questions (99)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

99. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes available from his Department in respect of fire services in local authority housing; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7551/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The provision of a fire service in its functional area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of fire station premises, is a statutory function of individual fire authorities under the Fire Services Acts, 1981 and 2003. My Department supports the fire authorities through setting general policy, providing a central training programme, issuing guidance on operational and other related matters and providing capital funding for equipment and priority infrastructural projects.

My Department runs a Community Smoke Alarm scheme which distributes smoke alarms to what are identified as vulnerable households. The scheme was initiated in 2007 and has seen over 150,000 alarms distributed by fire service personnel, including to those in local authority housing. The recoupments made to each local authority under this schemes by county, in each of the years 2018 to 2020, is outlined in Table 1 below.

Table 1 - Recoupments to Local Authorities in respect of Community Smoke Alarm Scheme

Fire Authority

Year

Amount recouped €

CARLOW COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

6,919

CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

2,829

CORK CITY COUNCIL

2019

8,118

2020

6,323

CORK COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

11,624

2020

2,920

DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

13,837

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL

2019

14,145

GALWAY COUNTY COUNCIL

2018

8,118

2019

17,835

KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL

2018

5,304

2020

12,349

KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

4,151

2020

5,535

LAOIS COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

20,756

LEITRIM COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

2,151

LONGFORD COUNTY COUNCIL

2020

8,487

LOUTH COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

6,365

MEATH COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

20,756

MONAGHAN COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

7,072

SLIGO COUNTY COUNCIL

2018

2,706

2019

5,658

SOUTH DUBLIN COUNTY COUNCIL

2018

6,765

TIPPERARY COUNTY COUNCIL

2018

20,295

2019

13,838

2020

8,302

WESTMEATH COUNTY COUNCIL

2018

5,412

2019

14,145

WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL

2019

16,833

2020

16,974

Departmental Funding

Questions (100)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

100. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes available from his Department in respect of urban renewal and regeneration; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7552/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) is a flagship element of Project Ireland 2040. The URDF was established to support more compact and sustainable development, through the regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s five cities and other large towns, in line with the objectives of the National Planning Framework and NDP. This is to enable a greater proportion of residential and mixed-use development to be delivered within the existing built-up footprints of our cities and towns and to ensure that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and vibrant places in which people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit.

Through the Fund, successful applicants are being offered targeted integrated support for applicant-led projects that will contribute to the regeneration and rejuvenation of our cities and towns.

In keeping with the aims of the National Planning Framework and Project Ireland 2040, the URDF demonstrates a new and more tailored approach to the provision of Government support. Over its planned duration up to 2027, URDF support will be targeted in an integrated, dynamic and responsive way to support the regeneration and rejuvenation of our towns and cities.

Already, the URDF is providing assistance for major projects that will contribute to the regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s five cities and other large towns, in line with the objectives of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan.

On 26 November 2018, URDF support was announced for a total of 88 projects throughout the country, one of which was later withdrawn by the applicant. In mid-2019 approval in principle and provisional funding allocations issued in respect of those 87 projects. This significant pipeline of projects is set to have a transformational impact in urban areas across the country. Through the URDF, successful applicants are receiving targeted integrated support for innovative holistic solutions to the issues that have hindered the regeneration and rejuvenation of our large towns and cities.

The programme has been very well received and supported, and while responsibility for the advancement of proposals is, in the first instance, a matter for the relevant local authority my Department is working closely with applicants to advance these projects as quickly as possible.

As the announcement of successful projects under Call 1 of the URDF was made in late 2018 there was no expenditure on the URDF supported capital programme in that year. The table below details the payments made to each local authority in respect of their projects in 2019 and 2020.

Table

Departmental Funding

Questions Nos. 102 to 104, inclusive, answered with Question No. 97.

Questions (101)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

101. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes available from his Department in respect of rural water schemes; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7553/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

My Department's Rural Water Programme provides capital and current funding to the Rural Water Sector. The Multi-annual Rural Water Programme provides capital funding to the sector, while current funding is provided through an annual subsidy to group water schemes for the operational and maintenance costs of providing water to their domestic members. Further information in relation to capital and current funding available through my Department in respect of rural water schemes can be found on my Department's website at the following link:

https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/a524a-group-water-schemes-and-rural-water-issues/#capital-funding-for-group-schemes-and-community-water-and-waste-water-connections

The three tables below set out the funding received by local authorities from my Department for each year 2018, 2019 and 2020 through the Rural Water Programme under the above funding schemes.

Table 1

Table 2

Table 3

Questions Nos. 102 to 104, inclusive, answered with Question No. 97.

Departmental Funding

Questions (105)

Catherine Murphy

Question:

105. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage the funding schemes available from his Department in respect of homeless services for local authority housing; the payments that were made to each local authority under these schemes and initiatives by county in each of the years 2018 to 2020, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7557/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

Increasing the supply of housing, particularly new build social and affordable homes, is a priority for me and for this Government. This is a key element in addressing homelessness. The Programme for Government commits to increasing the social housing stock by more than 50,000, with an emphasis on new builds. Budget 2021 provided €3.3 billion for the delivery of housing which will allow for the delivery of 12,750 new social homes through build, acquisition and leasing. A major focus of this investment is the delivery of new builds, with an overall target of 9,500 new homes.

In respect of homeless services my Department’s role is to ensure the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of accommodation and associated services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities.

My Department does not fund any homeless services, initiatives or schemes directly but provides funding to housing authorities towards theses costs under section 10 of the Housing Act, 1988. Funding provided goes towards a range of services and initiatives including funding towards the operational costs of homeless accommodation and initiatives such as outreach, tenancy sustainment services and Housing First services. Under the funding arrangements, housing authorities must provide at least 10% of the cost of services from their own resources. Housing authorities may also incur additional expenditure on homeless related services outside of these funding arrangements with my Department. In light of the foregoing, the exact amounts spent by housing authorities, as well as the type and operation of homeless accommodation and related services is a matter for the individual housing authority, in consultation with the Management Group of the relevant regional joint Homeless Consultative Forum established in accordance with Chapter 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009.

Exchequer funding for homeless services is provided through my Department to housing authorities on a regional basis. Exchequer funding provided on a regional basis for the years 2018 to 2020 is set out below:

Region

2018

2019

2020

Dublin

106,267,186

120,699,125

217,535,361

Mid-East

3,738,000

5,525,000

8,500,368

Midland

2,177,128

2,814,500

2,531,226

Mid-West

5,044,000

7,559,100

9,188,376

North-East

3,007,520

3,685,000

2,935,081

North-West

541,522

672,700

812,285

South-East

3,815,000

4,550,200

3,890,373

South-West

9,687,741

12,048,100

16,247,187

West

4,721,894

7,466,200

9,259,668

Totals

138,999,993

164,999,925

270,899,925

The outturn for 2020 includes contributions from my Department towards housing authority expenditure in relation to Covid-19 measures. New facilities were opened to ensure the number of residents in existing accommodation could be reduced to meet the necessary public health guidelines and to keep people safe. Shielding has been provided for those homeless persons most at risk of becoming seriously ill and additional accommodation has also been put in place to allow for the self-isolation of any confirmed or suspected case of infection. Costs have also been incurred on the provision of 24hr services in facilities, including food costs.

Financial reports from each of the homeless regions setting out expenditure on homeless accommodation and related services are published on my Department's website at https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/homelessness/other/homelessness-data. Financial reports for 2020 are currently being examined and will be published shortly.

My Department also supports local authorities with capital funding to deliver emergency accommodation, including family hubs. Capital funding provided by my Department from 2018 to 2020 is set out below.

Year

Expenditure

2018

€48.547m

2019

€9.256m

2020

€0.378m