Weather Events Expenditure

Ceisteanna (529)

James Lawless

Ceist:

529. Deputy James Lawless asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the allocation of emergency funding provided for Clane, County Kildare following the significant snowfall in February and March 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40777/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Since 2009, my Department has made financial support available to assist local authorities in meeting the costs of clean-up and necessary immediate works associated with the response to significant severe weather emergency events. This is in recognition of the exceptional nature of activities carried out by local authorities in responding to these types of emergencies and the fact that the costs of these un-programmed activities cannot be met from within existing resources.

In relation to the severe cold weather and snow that caused widespread disruption in many parts of the country in February and March this year, my Department has recouped a total of €9.398 million to local authorities for their response and clean-up activities including a total of €510,019 to Kildare County Council. These payments were made on a local authority basis on foot of claims for recoupment submitted to my Department. The amount of this funding that relates specifically to response and clean-up activities in Clane is a matter for Kildare County Council.

Mortgage to Rent Scheme

Ceisteanna (530)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

530. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the detail of the recent changes to the mortgage to rent scheme. [40785/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Following a Review of the Mortgage to Rent (MTR) Scheme, published on 8 February 2017, a range of amendments to the eligibility criteria and administration of the MTR scheme came into effect to enable more properties to qualify and to make the scheme more flexible and accessible to borrowers. The Review, available at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/changes-in-mortgage-to-rent-scheme/, explored the impediments to participation in the scheme and recommended a number of actions to make the scheme work better for borrowers.

To increase borrowers’ awareness and understanding of MTR a new dedicated mortgage to rent website, www.mortgagetorent.ie, has been developed by my Department together with the Housing Agency, with input from the Abhaile Service and the Insolvency Service of Ireland. The website, which went live in June 2018, complements the other improvements that have been made to the scheme following the 2017 Review.

My Department and the Housing Agency are working with all stakeholders to ensure that the actions set out in the Review are being effectively implemented to benefit a greater number of households.

The MTR Review, taking account of capacity within the Approved Housing Body sector, also recommended that alternative funding options, including the off-balance sheet potential of private institutional investment, be explored in order to allow the MTR scheme to deliver at scale. An Expressions of Interest Request issued in 2017 inviting parties from the private sector to express their interest in participating in a new alternatively funded long-term MTR lease model.

The outcome from the EOI process is that a new MTR process was announced in July 2018 with Home For Life Ltd. as the participant from the private sector. Under this pilot model, Home For Life Ltd. will acquire properties from lenders subsequent to their voluntary surrender by eligible borrowers who are in mortgage arrears, and who require long-term State assistance in meeting their housing needs. Home For Life will simultaneously enter into long-term lease arrangements with the local authorities in whose area the properties are situated. The local authority then sub-leases the property to the previous borrower under a tenancy agreement with the borrower becoming a social housing tenant. This enables the borrower to remain living in their home paying an affordable rent to their local authority. It is expected that Home for Life Ltd. will deliver a minimum of 50 cases under this alternatively funded long-term MTR lease model in 2018.

In all scenarios, my Department and the Housing Agency are focused on meeting the long-term housing needs of the greatest number of households in unsustainable mortgage arrears.

Home Loan Scheme

Ceisteanna (531)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

531. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applicants for the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme; the number who have been granted the requested loan; and the counties in which these applicants reside, in tabular form. [40920/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

As with the previous local authority home loan offerings, loan applications under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan are made directly to the local authority in whose area the property proposed for purchase is situated. My Department does not directly collect information on the number of loan applications received by each local authority.

However, as is currently the case, my Department will continue to publish information on the overall number and value of (i) local authority loan approvals and (ii) local authority loan drawdowns. Information up to Q4 2017 is available on the Department's website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/house-prices-loans-and-profile-borrowers/local-authority-loan-activity, and this information is updated on a quarterly basis as additional data is compiled.

In addition, the Housing Agency provides a central support service which assesses loan applications that are made to the local authorities and makes recommendations to the authorities as to whether loans should be offered to applicants. I have asked the Agency to centrally compile figures on the numbers of applications that it has assessed and the most recent figures, as at the end of September, indicate that the Agency had received a total of 2,933 applications for assessment from local authorities.

Of the 2,933 applications received, 2,354 were deemed to be valid. Of these valid applications, 2,222 had been assessed and 1,134 of these (51%) had been recommended for approval. A breakdown by local authority of the 1,134 applications recommended for approval is set out in the following table.

Local Authority

Applications Recommended to Approve by HA

Carlow County Council

15

Cavan County Council

1

Clare County Council

14

Cork City Council

37

Cork County Council

93

Donegal County Council

13

Dublin City Council

163

Dun Laoghaire–Rathdown County Council

33

Fingal County Council

156

Galway City Council

22

Galway County Council

32

Kerry County Council

26

Kildare County Council

72

Kilkenny County Council

11

Laois County Council

27

Leitrim County Council

2

Limerick City & County

28

Longford County Council

12

Louth County Council

19

Mayo County Council

13

Meath County Council

101

Monaghan County Council

2

Offaly County Council

10

Roscommon County Council

11

Sligo County Council

16

South Dublin County Council

84

Tipperary County Council

23

Waterford City & County Council

10

Westmeath County Council

11

Wexford County Council

33

Wicklow County Council

44

Total

1,134

Each local authority must have in place a credit committee and it is a matter for the committee to make the decision on applications for loans, in accordance with the regulations, having regard to the recommendations made by the Housing Agency.

Land Development Agency

Ceisteanna (532)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

532. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to in Parliamentary Question No. 37 of 27 September 2018, the 30 sites referred to as projects supported by the local infrastructure housing activation fund by county, in tabular form. [40921/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund is designed to activate housing supply by putting in place the enabling public infrastructure necessary to ensure that large scale development can take place on key sites in urban areas of high housing demand.

Final approval was given for 30 projects under LIHAF in 2017 and early 2018, and these projects will stimulate development of approximately 20,000 housing units across 14 local authorities, at a cost of approximately €195 million, of which approximately 75% will be provided from Exchequer funding. A table with details of these 30 projects, including the infrastructure to be built and the funding amounts, was published in March, 2018 and is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at http://rebuildingireland.ie/lihaf/.

Central Statistics Office Remit

Ceisteanna (533)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

533. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the responsibility will be given to the Central Statistics Office for housing output data, homeless and housing figures and other statistics in this sector; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40933/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department's Statistics and Data Analytics Unit (SDAU) recently collaborated with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and ESB Networks to significantly enhance the production of statistics in the area of housing completions. In relation to other output statistics, the SDAU and the relevant business units work on the compilation of social housing output statistics using data supplied to my Department by the Local Authorities on a periodic basis. The production of quarterly output statistics involves a significant collaboration and reconciliation of data sources across a wide number of my Department's business units in order to produce statistics for publication in a timely fashion. The SDAU can, and will, engage with the CSO in respect of housing data on an ongoing basis and is represented on the CSO’s Housing Data Group; likewise, the CSO is represented on my Department’s Housing Data Analytics Group. This collaborative working arrangement is very beneficial to both organisations, particularly in respect of the transfer of knowledge and information.

As regards homelessness statistics, my Department currently publishes data on a monthly basis on the number of homeless persons accommodated in emergency accommodation funded and overseen by housing authorities. These reports are based on data provided by housing authorities, produced through the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS). The reports are collated on a regional basis. While I have indicated the need to improve the current reporting system, and see great value in securing the advice and expertise of the CSO in that regard, there are no plans to transfer responsibility for the production of these reports to the CSO.

Housing Data

Ceisteanna (534)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

534. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the average and total cost of non-departmental funded Part V units in 2017; if the units were new builds or existing on-site or off site; the funding stream that purchased them; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40941/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Agreement on Part V arrangements is a matter for local authorities. The current options available to local authorities for Part V delivery are:

- the transfer of ownership of land, subject to the planning permission application, to a local authority for the provision of social housing remains the default option as is currently the case. The land option must be acceptable to the local authority, as well as the developer;

- the building and transfer of ownership to the local authority, or persons nominated, of completed social housing units on the site subject to the planning permission;

- the transfer of ownership to the local authority, or persons nominated, of completed social housing units on other land;

- the Part V obligation can now be fulfilled by developers through long term leasing of properties; and

- a combination of the options above.

In relation to Part V units that are not funded through my Department's Schemes, my Department only collects data in relation to the number of units and does not hold information on the cost of the units involved. Published statistical information is available at the following link:

www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/affordable-housing/affordable-housing-and-part-v-statistics.

Housing Data

Ceisteanna (535)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

535. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the Rebuilding Ireland social housing targets for 2018 to 2021 by local authority for build and acquisition but excluding leasing, in tabular form. [40943/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The overall targets under Rebuilding Ireland for social housing build and acquisition, over the period 2018-2021, as published, are as follows:

2018

2019

2020

2021

Build

4,969

6,385

7,716

8,907

Acquisition

900

1,025

800

800

The targets are broken down by local authority for 2018 only at present, details of which can be accessed on the Rebuilding Ireland website at: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-social-housing-delivery-targets-for-local-authorities-2018-2021/.

Targets are reviewed annually and any increased delivery arising from the 2019 budgetary process will be reflected in the targets to be delivered from 2019 onwards.

Housing Data

Ceisteanna (536)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

536. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of leased social housing units under the SCHEP and related programmes for the most recent date available by local authority, in tabular form. [40944/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP) was introduced in February 2009. Since then the programme has been expanded on a number of occasions to provide for new types of supply and to involve a greater range of agencies and bodies in providing accommodation. SHCEP supports the delivery of social housing by providing financial support to local authorities for the long term leasing of houses and apartments from private owners, developers and Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs). Properties made available under the programme are used to accommodate households from local authority waiting lists. Leased properties are allocated to tenants in accordance with the relevant local authority’s allocation scheme.

Dwellings under the scheme come from a number of different sources including private owners, Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs), Part V and the NAMA Special Purpose Vehicle (NARPS).

The following table sets out the number of dwellings supported under SHCEP by Local Authority at end Q2 2018.

Table: Dwellings supported under SHCEP at end Q2 2018.

Local Authority

No. of Dwellings supported under SHCEP (End Q2 2018)

Carlow County Council

192

Cavan County Council

60

Clare County Council

420

Cork City Council

284

Cork County Council

1,118

Donegal County Council

292

Dublin City Council

1,415

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council

327

Fingal County Council

756

Galway City Council

422

Galway County Council

116

Kerry County Council

293

Kildare County Council

487

Kilkenny County Council

131

Laois County Council

254

Leitrim County Council

16

Limerick City & County Council

134

Longford County Council

110

Louth County Council

540

Mayo County Council

219

Meath County Council

372

Monaghan County Council

32

Offaly County Council

303

Roscommon County Council

10

Sligo County Council

55

South Dublin County Council

935

Tipperary County Council

444

Waterford City & County Council

251

Westmeath County Council

351

Wexford County Council

283

Wicklow County Council

72

Total

10,694

Housing Data

Ceisteanna (537)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

537. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of social housing units that will be made available to Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council as a result of a purchase by a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [40950/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I am informed by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council that the Part V obligation for this site has already been discharged with homes already provided in other locations.

Urban Renewal Schemes

Ceisteanna (538)

Maureen O'Sullivan

Ceist:

538. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of the €972 million spent on the Ballymun regeneration project; and his views on whether the regeneration is a success. [40966/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Ballymun regeneration project spanned almost 20 years, with Departmental funding requirements first coming into play in 1999.

The substantial programme, which included 24 projects, is now complete. Approximately €972 million was spent on the programme, €775.3 million of which was recouped by my Department. Ballymun is by far the largest regeneration project ever undertaken in the country and the project was largely completed by the end of 2013. Since construction started in 2000, this significant investment resulted in almost 2,000 new replacement homes being constructed for residents of the original flat blocks and an additional 1,350 homes in the area being provided via private sector investment.

In addition, the programme has provided state of the art community facilities, such as the Axis theatre, and invested in neighbourhood centres to improve services. In recent years the programme has focused on improving the area’s environmental performance with various green initiatives, new parks and playing pitches. Enterprise and employment generation has focused on the main street and retail parks with many new employment opportunities opening up for the residents.

My Department’s oversight of the regeneration projects at this location was concerned with general progress on the overall programme and it continually liaised with Dublin City Council and Ballymun Regeneration Limited on the strategic approach and general phasing of works. This ensured that the project progressed on a sustainable basis, particularly having regard to general budgetary constraints and with a view to achieving its original intended outcomes for the community in a timely, efficient and cost-effective manner.

It must be noted that a regeneration project goes beyond mere bricks and mortar. In order to be successful and sustainable in the long term, a regeneration project requires the re-building of a community and a strengthening of community bonds. Through a combination of providing state of the art community facilities, large scale housing solutions and encouraging local enterprise and employment I believe that the Ballymun regeneration project has and will continue to prove to be a success.

NAMA Social Housing Provision

Ceisteanna (539)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

539. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to engage with Dublin City Council and NAMA, further to the motion passed recently at the council to transfer a site (details supplied) into State ownership to build cost rental and affordable housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41005/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I am advised that the site to which the Deputy refers is not owned by NAMA, rather the site is controlled by a receiver and NAMA is the secured creditor. I have no role or powers in relation to NAMA secured loans or to direct NAMA to adopt a particular course of action.

However, I do understand that Dublin City Council are currently having discussions with NAMA in relation to the potential re-development of this land which is adjacent to Dublin City Council owned land at St. Teresa’s Gardens. My Department is actively engaged with the City Council on the delivery of an ambitious social and affordable housing programme. In that context, my Department will examine any proposals that the Council may make following its engagement with NAMA.

Property Registration

Ceisteanna (540)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

540. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will address a matter regarding a mapping error in relation to a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41006/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

As previously outlined in the replies to Parliamentary Questions Nos 578 of 26 June 2018 and 1284 of 12 June 2018, the Property Registration Authority remains responsible for dealing with the matter concerned. However, it is not in a position to progress an application for compensation until such time as it receives the necessary advice from the Chief State Solicitor's Office.

Rent Pressure Zones

Ceisteanna (541)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

541. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the changes he plans to make to the rules underpinning and operation of the rent pressure zones arising from the Review of Rent Predictability Measure - Final Report. [41011/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department has conducted a review of the Rent Predictability Measure on the basis of the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) rent data and a public consultation on the operation of the Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs). Arising from the review findings, I announced a number of measures to further strengthen the effectiveness of the rent setting and rent review laws, including the implementation of a change plan to develop and strengthen the role of the RTB, particularly with regard to enforcement.

These measures include the intention to sanction a landlord who increases rent in contravention of the legislation and to provide the RTB with the necessary powers and resources to protect tenants from illegal rent increases. These changes will strengthen the impact of the Rent Predictability Measure and should contribute to a further slowing in the growth in rents, in tandem with increasing supply.

The Government approved the priority drafting of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bill on 17 April 2018 and the Bill is currently being drafted as a priority by the Office of Parliamentary Counsel.

The Bill will further strengthen the effectiveness of the rent setting and rent review laws by empowering the RTB to:

- investigate any contravention of the law around rent limits (4% per annum) in RPZs and to take enforcement action, if necessary, including the imposition of sanctions on landlords in breach; and

- initiate an investigation without the need for a complaint to be made.

These proposed powers for the RTB are also a crucial first step in expanding the role and function of the RTB as part of a multi-annual change management programme to proactively enforce the law within the rental sector. The Bill is expected to be published shortly.

Commemorative Medals

Ceisteanna (542)

Jack Chambers

Ceist:

542. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to award a medal to those members of Dublin Fire Brigade and Ambulance Service who took part in the 1916 centenary celebrations; if a committee is considering this matter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41037/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The provision of fire services in local authority areas is a statutory function of the individual fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Acts, 1981 and 2003. My Department supports the fire authorities through setting general policy and through a range of service development programmes.

The issuing of 1916 – 2016 Commemorative medals was a commitment in 'A Programme for Partnership Government' for the Defence Forces, and therefore did not include staff in local authority Fire Services. However, my Department is commissioning medals in recognition of the role played by staff working in the Fire Services in relation to the 1916 commemorations. It is envisaged that all Fire Services staff serving in 2016 will be eligible to receive the medal.

A tender process is being undertaken as part of procurement and my Department will be in contact with all Fire Authorities in relation to this matter directly.

Housing Adaptation Grant

Ceisteanna (543)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

543. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the waiting list for the housing adaptation grant and housing aid for older people scheme in counties Cavan and Monaghan in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41045/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The detailed administration of the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, including the assessment, approval and prioritisation of grants to applicants under the various grant measures, is the responsibility of the local authorities.

My Department does not hold information in relation to waiting lists of individual local authorities. This information may be available directly from the local authorities.

Housing Data

Ceisteanna (544)

John Curran

Ceist:

544. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of rapid build housing units that have been constructed to date and occupied; the number of additional units expected to be completed before the end of 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41083/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department is working closely with all local authorities in relation to increasing and accelerating the delivery of a range of social housing programmes and supports, including through the use of rapid build methodologies.

287 homes have been delivered using rapid build technology up to the end of Q2 this year, with a further 132 units across 6 schemes scheduled for completion before the end of the year. An additional 26 rapid build projects, set to yield a further 686 new social housing homes, are also being advanced.

Local authorities have been advised that rapid build approaches should increasingly become the norm in terms of delivering social housing projects and my Department will continue to engage with local authorities to this end.

In relation to the tenanting and allocation of social housing support to qualifying households, this is a matter for the housing authority concerned.

Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund

Ceisteanna (545)

John Curran

Ceist:

545. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the requests for funding submitted by each local authority and the drawdown of funding to each authority under the LIHAF scheme to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41084/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

As a key initiative of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) is designed to fund the provision of public off-site infrastructure to relieve critical infrastructure blockages and enable housing developments to be built on key sites at scale.

Funding of €200 million was originally provided under LIHAF, of which €150 million is funded by the Exchequer and local authorities fund €50 million. 30 projects received final approval at a total cost of €195.71 million, of which €146.69 million will be funded by the Exchequer and local authorities will fund the balance.

The successful project cycle requires careful planning at the initial stage. The design, planning and procurement phases are not especially costly in terms of the scale of an overall project, with the bulk of expenditure arising during the construction phase. Thus far, most projects have been at the design and planning stages and this is reflected in the level of funding drawdowns to date. As the projects progress to construction, site activity and drawdowns will significantly escalate and it is expected that up to a third of the projects will be at construction phase by end 2018. Funding for LIHAF is ring-fenced within the overall housing budget and will be available for local authorities to draw down over the lifetime of the projects.

The following table details drawdown for 2017 and the first two quarters of 2018. My Department recently invited local authorities to submit claims in respect of quarter three of 2018.

Local Authority

Project name

Drawdown of LIHAF funding to end Q2 2018 €

Clare

Claureen, Ennis

41,142

Cork City

Old Whitechurch Road

28,201

Cork City

South Docks

363,495

Cork County

Carrigaline

13,837

Cork County

Glanmire

86,441

Cork County

Midleton

34,718

Dublin City

Belmayne and Clongriffin

47,657

Dublin City

Dodder Bridge

126,463

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

Cherrywood

68,280

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

Clay Farm

0

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

Woodbrook Shanganagh

0

Fingal

Baldoyle Stapolin

84,348

Fingal

Donabate Distributor Road

1,248,869

Fingal

Oldtown Mooretown

0

Kildare

Naas

39,454

Kildare

Maynooth

22,563

Kildare

Sallins

645,584

Kilkenny

Ferrybank

0

Kilkenny

Western Environs

101,991

Limerick

Mungret

112,886

Louth

Mount Avenue, Dundalk

0

Louth

Newtown, Drogheda

0

Meath

Farganstown, Navan

53,531

Meath

Ratoath

82,613

South Dublin

Adamstown SDZ

0

South Dublin

Clonburris SDZ

0

South Dublin

Kilcarbery (Corkagh Grange)

28,825

Waterford

Gracedieu

52,233

Waterford

Kilbarry

94,590

Westmeath

Brawny Road, Athlone

0

Further details on all of the above projects are available at www.rebuildingireland.ie/LIHAF.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (546)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

546. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 627 of 2 October 2018, the schedule of the quarterly meetings with Wicklow, Kildare, Meath and all Dublin local authorities since the beginning of 2018 and those planned until the end of 2019; the schedule of each project discussed at each of those quarterly meetings; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41117/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The meetings between my Department’s Architectural and QS Advisors, to review progress and examine new proposals on social housing, are happening quarterly with all local authorities. In respect of the local authorities referred to in the question, the quarterly schedule for 2018 is outlined in the following table. A quarterly meeting schedule will be maintained going forward into 2019 and beyond.

Local Authority

Meeting Date Q1 2018

Meeting Date Q2 2018 (or 2 nd meeting)

Meeting Date Q3 2018 (or 3 rd meeting)

Meeting Date Q4 2018 (or 4 th meeting)

Dublin City Council

23 January

21 March

24 May

17 October

Dun Laoghaire – Rathdown County Council

21 February

16 May

20 September

21 November (tbc)

Fingal County Council

30January

26 April

12 July

10 October

South Dublin County Council

18 January

25 April

12 July

19 October

Kildare County Council

10 January

10 April

4 July

3 October

Meath County Council

17 January

24 April

18 July

17 October

Wicklow County Council

11 January

12 March

8 June

27 September

These meetings review the wide range of social housing projects that are underway or planned across the local authorities and by Approved Housing Bodies on their behalf. Given the very wide range of project activity that is covered at each separate meeting, the compilation of the information sought in terms of a schedule of each project discussed at each of these quarterly meetings, would involve a disproportionate amount of time and work. However, precise information in relation to issues around individual projects will be available from the relevant local authorities that are directly involved in their delivery.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (547)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

547. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 627 of 2 October 2018, the reason a single stage process was not used for this project in view of the fact that it falls under both thresholds in the criteria, under €2 million and less than 15 units; if a cost-benefit analysis and tender process was undertaken for the project (details supplied); the number of single stage and four stage processes nationally, by local authority, since 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41118/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The single stage approval process was introduced on a pilot basis in early 2016 for social housing projects, with an all-in budget up to €2 million or no more than 15 units. The single stage approval process was further refined this year following consultation between my Department and the City and County Management Association (CCMA) and the revised process allows some post tender adjustments in specific circumstances.

In the case of the Kilmantain Place scheme, Wicklow County Council opted to progress this project through the four stage approval process. A Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a key economic appraisal technique under the Public Spending Code, and is only required for capital projects in excess of €20 million. In the case of this scheme, a CBA was not required and the tender process, which is a matter directly for each individual local authority, is carried out in line with the requirements of the Capital Works Management Framework.

There are currently 12 projects nationally being progressed under the single stage approval process. There are also an increasing number of projects being progressed through the turnkey approach, which is a one stage approval process. Local authorities have substantial pipelines of new build social housing projects, and all approved projects can be seen in the quarterly Social Housing Construction Status Reports published by my Department. The most recently available report sets out the position as at end Quarter 2 2018 and is available at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-latest-social-housing-construction-report/.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (548)

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

548. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of houses purchased and or acquired by compulsory purchase order by Louth County Council in 2017 and to date in 2018; and the number of houses purchased in Drogheda, County Meath by address and purchase cost, in tabular form. [41145/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department publishes information on the social homes built, acquired and leased by each local authority, which is available at the following link: www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision. My Department does not have information on the precise method through which the range of such properties were acquired, whether involving compulsory purchase orders or otherwise. The majority of property acquisitions by local authorities are carried out under delegated sanction, without a prior approval from my Department.

Specific information on the acquisition programme of Louth County Council may be available from the local authority itself.

My Department will continue to support Louth County Council and other local authorities in their work to acquire properties, particularly vacant properties where these can be remediated and made available for social housing.

Abbey Theatre

Ceisteanna (549)

Imelda Munster

Ceist:

549. Deputy Imelda Munster asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the procedures, checks and balances in circumstances in which there is a local authority overspend. [41146/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Local Government Act 2001, as amended by the Local Government Reform Act 2014, provides the legislative basis for the local authority budget process. It is a matter for each local authority to determine its own spending priorities in the context of the annual budgetary process having regard to both locally identified needs and available resources. The elected members of a local authority have direct responsibility in law for all reserved functions of the authority, which includes adopting the annual budget, and are democratically accountable for all expenditure by the local authority.

Local authorities are required to adopt budgets which are sufficient to meet the expenditure arising in the year in accordance with the terms of section 10A of the City and County Management Act 1955, as inserted in that Act by section 113 of the Local Government Act 2001. Local Authority budgets must be balanced, sufficient to defray the expenditure necessary to maintain a reasonable standard of public services and must provide for payment of any sums which the local authority is bound to pay. The adoption of a balanced budget is probably the single most important duty that the elected members are called upon to carry out each year. To achieve that balance, the members must make informed and necessary choices to balance the level of service provision with the available income. Note 16 in the Annual Financial Statements of local authorities shows the difference between the adopted budgets and the actual outturn in respect of both expenditure and income.

In the context of the budget process, similar to any organisation, local authorities' levels of expenditure and income are forecast based on informed judgments, assumptions and decisions. Section 104 of the Local Government Act 2001 sets out the requirements on local authorities governing additional expenditure, which means the spending of money or the incurring of a liability not provided for in a local authority budget. Section 104 (2) states that "at any time after it has adopted a budget a local authority may, following a proposal under subsection (3) or otherwise, by resolution authorise the incurring of additional expenditure".

The Local Government Audit Service provides a professional, independent audit service to local authorities. In the annual audit reports of local authorities there is a report on any spending in excess of the amount budgeted, along with confirmation that the overspend has been approved by resolution of the members in line with Section 104 (2).

In order to enhance the financial management and audit control systems in local authorities, an audit committee, with both councillor and expert external membership, is now in place in each authority. The functions of an audit committee are to review financial and budgetary reporting practices and procedures within a local authority, foster the development of best practice in the internal audit function, review auditors’ reports and special reports and assess follow-up action by management, assess and promote efficiency and value for money, review risk management systems and make such recommendations to the authority as the committee considers appropriate in respect of such matters.