Social and Affordable Housing Data

Ceisteanna (255, 256)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

255. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 1172 of 15 January 2019, if he will provide a further breakdown of the all in unit cost ceilings referenced in tables 2 and 3. [3196/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Clare Daly

Ceist:

256. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 1172 of 15 January 2019, if he will clarify matters (details supplied) in relation to Dublin City Council. [3197/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 255 and 256 together.

Unit Cost Ceiling (UCC) Construction Costs relate to building costs only, which include normal site-works and site development, and are inclusive of VAT.

As noted in the reply to Question No. 1172 of 15 January 2019, land costs vary depending on location, size, site conditions, etc. The UCC all-In costs therefore reflect a composite average figure per unit, inclusive of VAT, to reflect construction costs, land costs, professional fees, utilities, site investigations/surveys, and specialist surveys, such as archaeology. The professional fees allowed for in the UCC All-In costs include, but are not limited to, design, valuation, and legal fees, as required.

Site investigations/site surveys are generally carried out on all sites, which is in line with best practice. Specialist surveys (e.g. archaeology) are carried out where necessary.

The VAT referenced in the UCC All-In costs applies to construction, fees, surveys etc, as appropriate.

Repair and Leasing Scheme

Ceisteanna (257)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

257. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of units provided through the repair and lease scheme in 2017 and 2018; the cost per annum; the estimated cost and number of units in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3291/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

At the end of Q3 2018, a total of 1,214 applications had been received from property owners under the Repair and Leasing (RLS) scheme; 48 homes had been brought back into use and were tenanted; and 122 agreements for lease had been signed. A detailed breakdown of the RLS scheme data by local authority up to end Q3 2018 is available on my Department’s website at the following link:

http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision.

A breakdown of the 48 homes delivered under the scheme by year and local authority is set out in the table:

Table 1: RLS Delivery

Local Authority

Units Delivered - 2017

Units Delivered – End Q3 2018

Carlow County Council

0

2

Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown County Council

1

0

Fingal County Council

0

3

Limerick City & County Council

0

7

Meath County Council

0

1

Monaghan County Council

0

4

Roscommon County Council

0

2

Waterford City & County Council

6

11

Wexford County Council

2

9

Total

9

39

Total capital expenditure under the scheme for 2017 and up to end Q3 2018 is set out in Tables 2 and 3 below. Data for the RLS scheme for Q4 2018 is currently being collected and will be published shortly. 

Table 2: RLS Capital Expenditure 2017

 Local Authority

 Spend for 2017

 Dun Laoghaire - Rathdown County Council

 €4,987

 Waterford City & County Council

 €191,398

 Total Spend

€196,385* 

*The capital claim for the homes delivered under the scheme in Wexford in 2017 was submitted in 2018. (and was paid in Q4 2018).

Table 3: RLS Capital Expenditure to end Q3 2018 

Local Authority 

Spend for 2018 at end Q3 

 Carlow County Council

 €67,983

 Limerick City & County Council

 €75,000

 Meath County Council

 €8,698

 Monaghan County Council

 €25,000

 Waterford City & County Council

 €391,931

 Total Spend

 €568,612

Significant funding of €38 million is available for the scheme and I expect local authorities and approved housing bodies to continue to implement the scheme locally and to achieve the target of 950 new properties this year.

Homeless Accommodation Provision

Ceisteanna (258, 259)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

258. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount spent on family hubs in 2017 and 2018; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3292/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

259. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of recipients of family hubs in 2017; the estimated number in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3293/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 258 and 259 together.

My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves 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.

Family hubs offer family living arrangements with a greater level of stability than is possible in hotel accommodation, with the capacity to provide appropriate play-space, cooking and laundry facilities, communal recreation space, while move-on options to long-term independent tenancies are identified and secured.

There are currently 26 hubs operational nationally, offering over 600 units of family accommodation in urban areas. 22 of these are in Dublin, with one each in Cork, Kildare, Limerick and Louth. Further facilities will become operational during the course of 2019, details of which will become available as projects are finalised by housing authorities.

Capital payments amounting to €14.2 million and €48.5 million were made in respect of operational hub facilities in 2017 and 2018. The funding to be provided in 2019 will be dependent on the progress made by local authorities on the development of further family hubs over the rest of the year.

In relation to the operational funding for the family hubs, my Department provides funding to housing authorities on a regional basis towards the operational costs of homeless accommodation and related 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 the funding arrangements with my Department. Therefore, the exact amounts spent by housing authorities on homeless services, as well as the types of accommodation and the service providers engaged, are a matter for those authorities. Financial reports from each of the regions, setting out expenditure on homeless services, including family hubs, in each region in 2017, are published on my Department's website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/node/5498. The equivalent reports for 2018 are currently being prepared by housing authorities.

Housing Assistance Payment Data

Ceisteanna (260, 261)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

260. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount spent on the housing assistance payment per annum since its establishment; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3296/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

261. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of recipients of the housing assistance payment since its inception; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3297/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 260 and 261 together.

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. Data to end 2018 is not yet available; however, at the end of Quarter 3 2018, there were more than 40,800 households having their housing needs met via HAP and some 25,500 separate landlords and agents in receipt of monthly HAP payments.

HAP is funded through a combination of Exchequer monies and tenant differential rents collected in respect of HAP tenancies. Budget 2019 has increased the Exchequer funding for the HAP scheme to €422 million. This will allow for the continued support of existing HAP households and also enable the additional 16,760 households targeted under Rebuilding Ireland to be supported by HAP in 2019, as well as supporting the roll-out of the Homeless HAP Place Finder Support Service across the country.

Details on the Exchequer funding for HAP from 2014 to 2018 are set out in the table below:

Year

Additional Households supported at end of year

Outturn€M

2014

485

€0.39m

2015

5,680

€15.64m

2016

12,075

€57.69m

2017

17,916

€152.69m

2018

13,741 (end Q3 2018)*

€276.6m (full year)

*Data in respect of Q4 2018 will be available shortly.

Rental Accommodation Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (262, 263)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

262. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount spent on the rental accommodation scheme in each of the years 2011 to 2018; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3298/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

263. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of recipients of the rental accommodation scheme in each of the years 2011 to 2018; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3299/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 262 and 263 together.

Data for the years 2011 to 2017 on the number and cost of tenancies funded under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) scheme is available on my Department's website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision.  

The most recent RAS data reflects the number of tenancies in place at end October 2018, when there were a total of 19,062 tenancies supported under the scheme.  Data in respect of the last quarter of 2018 is being compiled by my Department.

I am providing €134.3 million to support the cost of RAS in 2019 and this funding will go towards supporting 600 additional RAS tenancies targeted to be achieved by local authorities in 2019 and the ongoing cost of supporting continuing RAS contracts in place at the end of 2018.

It is not possible to accurately predict the number of tenancies that will be supported by RAS at the end of 2019 as numbers in RAS vary as contracts end, tenants move on to other properties, landlords join or withdraw from the scheme, new tenancies are allocated or vacancies in contracted units are filled.  Furthermore, towards 2021, as the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme continues to be rolled out nationally and replaces Rent Supplement, it is expected that more RAS tenancies will terminate than will commence.

Nevertheless, RAS continues to be an effective and secure form of social housing support, and remains a significant part of the suite of social housing options currently available to those who are assessed as being in need of housing support.

Housing Data

Ceisteanna (264, 265)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

264. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount spent on the social housing current expenditure programme in each of the years 2011 to 2018; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3300/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

265. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of units on the social housing current expenditure programme in each of the years 2011 to 2018; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3301/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 264 and 265 together.

The Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP) supports the delivery of social housing by providing financial support to local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) for the leasing of houses and apartments. These properties are either privately owned or owned by AHBs. Properties made available under the programme are used to accommodate households from local authority waiting lists.

Details of the total number of properties operational under SHCEP at the end of each of the years 2011 to end Q3 2018 are provided below in tabular form. Data for Q4 2018 are currently being collated and will be available shortly.

Year 

Dwellings operational under SHCEP  

2011

2,496

2012

3,701

2013

4,600

2014

5,622

2015

7,099

2016

8,366

2017

10,152

2018 to end Q3

10,877

In total, it is estimated that an additional 21,100 dwellings will be incrementally supported under SHCEP in the period from 2018 to 2021. This includes dwellings to be sourced through long-term lease arrangements from a range of different sources including the Repair and Leasing Scheme, Enhanced Leasing Scheme and properties which will be delivered by AHBs through a combination of the support under my Department's Capital Advance Loan Facility (CALF) and private borrowings, including from the Housing Finance Agency (HFA).  

The annual cost of SHCEP to the Exchequer is made up of the continuing cost of supporting existing tenancies and contracts in place at the end of the previous year together with the additional cost of the new tenancies and contracts supported over the course of the year to which the allocation relates. Exchequer funding for SHCEP in 2019 is €155m– an increase of €40m over 2018. Details of the funding provided to local authorities under SHCEP from 2011 to end Q3 2018 are provided below in tabular form. 

 

Period

SHCEP Expenditure  

2011

€13,817,464

2012

€20,814,526

2013

€27,362,615

2014

€34,844,780

2015

€42,275,724

2016

€54,028,752

2017

€84,050,743

2018 to end Q3

€42,793,213

Rent Pressure Zones

Ceisteanna (266)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

266. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 268 of 17 January 2019, his plans to renew the areas designated as rent pressure zones in view of the fact that the Act designates December 2019 as the time when these zones will cease (details supplied). [3312/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

As indicated in my reply to Question No 268 of 17 January 2019, future policy decisions in relation to the rental sector, including the future of RPZ designations, will be informed by ongoing careful analysis of the rental market. Decisions flowing from this process, including in relation to the future RPZ designations, will be outlined in due course.

Brexit Staff

Ceisteanna (267)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

267. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of regular grade civil servants his Department has hired in advance of a no-deal Brexit; the number of specialist grade civil servants hired in advance of same; the budget made available in advance of Brexit for hiring of staff in advance of the UK withdrawal from the EU; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3324/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

To date, staff in my Department have been assigned Brexit-related roles in addition to their existing responsibilities, rather than being assigned exclusively to Brexit matters. This has enabled broad engagement across the Department and has ensured the availability of appropriate expertise in all relevant areas. It has also enabled the Department to become fully engaged in the cross-Departmental work on Brexit-related issues.

Taking on these additional responsibilities has been facilitated from within the general increase in staffing resources put in place across the Department in recent years, including in 2018 when the overall staffing complement of the organisation increased from a Fulltime Equivalent (FTE) number of 655 at end December 2017 to FTE of 719 at end December 2018.

Architects Register

Ceisteanna (268)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

268. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will address a matter (details supplied) regarding registration fees; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3359/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Having regard to the detailed engagement that took place with the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) when the fees referred to were set initially, and again when they were reviewed in 2016, I am satisfied that the fees have been set at an appropriate level in relation to the functions which the RIAI performs under the Building Control Act 2007.  It should also be noted that provision exists for fees to be reduced or waived in cases of verified hardship.

The RIAI publishes an annual report each year which is available on its website at the following link: https://www.riai.ie/about/riai_annual_reports/.  This includes a certified financial report with details of income and expenditure.  In addition, its annual return is filed with the Companies Registration Office. 

My Department will be reviewing the relevant reporting arrangements in the context of the reporting required in relation to 2018 activity under the 2007 Act.

Brexit Staff

Ceisteanna (269)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

269. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of regular grade civil servants her Department has hired in advance of a no-deal Brexit; the number of specialist grade civil servants hired in advance of same; the budget made available in advance of Brexit for hiring of staff in advance of the UK withdrawal from the EU; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3317/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The Government’s contingency planning for Brexit was initiated well in advance of the UK referendum in June 2016. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade is overseeing the co-ordination of the whole-of-Government response to Brexit through the cross-Departmental coordination structures chaired by his Department. 

In July 2018, and again in September 2018, a number of decisions were made at Cabinet relating to Brexit preparedness and contingency planning, including the phased recruitment of staff, as required.

The Government has already sanctioned €4m for the commencement of a phased process for the recruitment of additional staff to carry out the greatly increased volumes of import controls and export certification arising from Brexit.

A Working Group, chaired at Assistant Secretary level and comprising of officials from across the Department has been established to deal with Brexit issues. This Working Group is supported by the Department's Corporate Governance and Coordination Unit which is also responsible for coordinating the response to Brexit related issues within the remit of my Department.

My Department also has a full time dedicated attaché assigned to Ireland's Permanent Representation in Brussels. This officer is a member of the Department’s Working Group and is also fully involved in the preparations by Ireland’s diplomatic team in Brussels.

I am advised that my Department is keeping all Brexit related staffing requirements under review and that current requirements are being met from within existing resources.