Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (295)

Micheál Martin

Ceist:

295. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to accelerate the delivery of affordable, cost rental, social and or co-op built housing on all state-owned land in Dublin city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3451/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The development of residential land in local authority ownership is in the first instance a matter for the individual authority concerned, including its elected members. My Department has been working closely with all local authorities to ensure that new social and affordable homes are delivered from the public land bank, including that of Dublin City Council, with particular emphasis on prioritising those sites with the greatest potential to deliver housing at scale, in the short to medium term.

All local authorities are being funded to significantly increase their delivery of social housing as part of the Rebuilding Ireland programme and a strong social housing construction pipeline is already in place for local authorities and approved housing bodies. Some 2,586 social housing homes in the Dublin City Council area are either completed or are currently progressing through the various stages of the project life-cycle. Further projects will continue to be added to the pipeline on an ongoing basis.

A detailed breakdown of the social housing construction programme, including that of Dublin City Council, is set out in the Social Housing Construction Status Report which is published on a quarterly basis. The report covering the period up to end Quarter 3 2018 is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-quarter-3-social-housing-construction-report/. The report for Q4 2018 is currently being prepared.

In terms of affordable housing, a targeted approach is being pursued to support local authorities. To this end, I have provided additional funding for enabling infrastructure via the Serviced Sites Fund. Under Budget 2019, a total of €310 million will be provided for this purpose over the course of 2019 to 2021. I approved the first tranche of funding under the Fund on 11 December 2018, through which some €43 million in funding is being provided to facilitate the delivery of some 1,400 affordable homes. Details of the Dublin City Council SSF projects are listed in the following table.

 Local Authority

Project/Location

Total   Provisional Cost of Proposal

Provisional

Exchequer Grant Amount

Provisional

Local Authority Contribution

Affordable Housing Potential

Dublin

City

Cherry

Orchard

€7,645,415

 €6,804,419

 €840,996

 183

Dublin

City

Balbutcher,

Ballymun

€4,135,351

 €3,680,462

 €454,889

 74

Dublin

City

Sillogue,

Ballymun

€3,975,000

 €3,537,750

 €437,250

 83

 Total

-

 €15,755,766

 €14,022,631

 €1,733,135

 340

The combination of this Fund and the significantly increased funding for the social housing programme will open up more opportunities for larger mixed-tenure developments. My Department will continue to engage proactively with the City Council to accelerate the delivery of these projects, in particular on such key sites as O’Devaney Gardens and Oscar Traynor Road, which combined will deliver over 1,200 homes.

As regards other public sites in Dublin that are not in the ownership of local authorities, the Land Development Agency (LDA) is in the process of advancing agreements with various State bodies, including the Housing Agency, the Office of Public Works, and the HSE, which are participating in the first tranche of land agreements in the Dublin region, and is keen to work in partnership and co-operation with local authorities. A detailed business plan for the LDA is currently in development and will provide additional information on its delivery programme.

Acknowledging that renters in Dublin are currently facing significant access and affordability challenges, the Government is committed to the introduction of a not-for-profit, cost rental sector in Ireland. Together with delivering more affordable and predictable rents, cost rental will make a sustainable impact on national competitiveness and the attractiveness of our main urban centres as places to live and work.

A significant early mover project is being advanced by Dublin City Council, which will deliver important lessons in terms of cost rental in an Irish setting, at Emmet Road, Inchicore. While the final tenure-mix on the site will be decided by Dublin City Council, to be informed by the detailed site development process, it will likely include 140 social housing homes, with the remaining 330 homes predominantly provided by the City Council under cost rental arrangements. My Department is also engaging with the National Development Finance Agency, the European Investment Bank and the LDA to examine the optimum funding and delivery options to support cost rental delivery at scale in Dublin and other urban areas.

Finally the approved housing body sector includes a number of housing co-operatives whose objectives are to provide social and affordable housing. These bodies are supported through a range of schemes for both social and affordable housing which are funded by the State through the local authorities. In addition, some local authorities facilitated housing developments through supporting co-operatives to deliver housing under the low cost sites scheme. With the introduction of a new affordable purchase housing scheme and cost rental, supported by the Serviced Sites Fund, there will be further opportunities for approved housing bodies, including co-operatives, to provide affordable housing.