I propose to take Questions Nos. 227 and 233 together.
Social housing projects funded by my Department, like all publicly funded construction projects, must comply with the Government’s Capital Works Management Framework (CWMF), the objectives of which are to ensure greater cost certainty, better value for money and financial accountability. While there are nine points of review within the CWMF, my Department has combined these to just four for capital-funded social housing construction projects.
My Department now publishes Social Housing Construction Status Reports on a quarterly basis. These reports provide information on the social housing construction programme underway for each local authority area and contain details such as the stage each project is at, the names and locations of each project and the number of new social homes each project is delivering.
The last published report sets out the position at the end of quarter 3 of 2017. It has information on the delivery of over 12,000 new social housing homes, including those on site and under construction, those progressing through planning and design and those delivered in 2016 and to the end of quarter 3 of 2017. The majority of the schemes listed in the Status Report progress through the four stage process under the CWMF. That report is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link:
The construction schemes progressing through the 4 stage approval process are reviewed at each stage by my Department’s Social Housing Delivery team, including architectural and quantity surveyor (QS) advisors. The assessment of costs takes into account the wide range of factors that will influence projects, such as house or apartment type, location, land costs and conditions, scale of the development and the terms of the planning approval. The professional QS staff assess costs in relation to all projects realistically, based on the range of the above factors that might apply and funding is released to local authorities based on the costs they have incurred in the delivery of the constructions projects. Local authorities are encouraged to drawdown funding on a timely basis.