Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966 provides that the management and maintenance of local authority housing stock is a matter for each individual local authority. This includes the achievement of energy efficiency, the implementation of planned maintenance programmes and carrying out of responsive repairs and pre-letting repairs.
Local authorities are currently undertaking an ambitious programme of insulation retrofitting, with the support of my Department, on the least energy efficient social homes. Funding of some €115.7 million has been provided from 2013 to the end of 2017 to improve energy efficiency and comfort levels in almost 64,000 local authority homes, benefitting those at risk of fuel poverty and making a significant contribution to Ireland’s carbon emissions reduction targets and energy reduction targets for 2020.
The Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme is being implemented in a number of phases: Phase 1 commenced in 2013 and is focused on providing attic/roof insulation and the less intrusive cavity wall insulation in all relevant properties while Phase 2 of the Programme, which has been piloted in both Fingal and Westmeath County Councils, will focus on the external fabric upgrade of those social housing units with solid/hollow block wall construction. Funding may also be provided under Phase 2 to upgrade poorly performing windows and doors in specific circumstances.
In 2018, the main focus of the available funding for the Energy Efficiency Retrofitting Programme will be on the completion of the remaining Phase 1 works and formally rolling out Phase 2. My Department will, shortly, be asking local authorities including Longford County Council to submit details of their work proposals and related funding requirements for this programme in 2018. In relation to the project referred to by the Deputy, my Department will, of course, consider that project for funding once an application has been submitted to the Department.
In the meantime, if a local authority identifies a tenanted dwelling which requires a specific and urgent energy efficiency upgrade, especially in those dwellings which accommodate elderly people and people with disabilities, then a special case should be made to my Department to have these works funded.