Written Answers. - Defence Forces Property.

Jack Wall

Ceist:

78 Mr. Wall asked the Minister for Defence the progress which has been made in his Department's discussions with Kildare County Council with a view to resolving the accommodation difficulties of overholders in living accommodation in the Curragh Camp; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18780/03]

Permanent Defence Force personnel are obliged to vacate married quarters within a short period of the date of their discharge. Over 50 married quarters are being overheld by former members of the PDF or their families, however. The provision of housing is primarily a matter for local authorities and married military personnel have an equal claim on such housing as other members of the community in the same income category. Meetings have been held between departmental officials and the overholders, as well as with officials of Kildare County Council. In cases where houses have been offered for sale to overholders, the Department has sought the co-operation of Kildare County Council in ensuring that mortgages are made available to eligible applicants and some progress has been made in this regard.

My Department is continuing to examine all options, including affordable housing and voluntary and co-operative housing schemes, relating to the rehousing of overholders who would in the normal way be eligible for local authority housing. Co-operative schemes are financed under the terms of the capital loan and subsidy scheme operated by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and the local authorities. The Department will be in further contact with the overholders in due course.

Question No. 79 answered with Question No. 74.