I propose to take Questions Nos. 283 and 284 together.
In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, housing authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and the preparation, adoption and implementation of multi-annual Traveller Accommodation Programmes (TAPs) in their areas. My Department’s role is to ensure that there are adequate structures and supports in place to assist the authorities in providing such accommodation, including a national framework of policy, legislation and funding.
A dedicated budget is in place to fund the delivery of Traveller-specific accommodation including development of new accommodation as well as renovation and refurbishment work on existing accommodation. The purchase of land for Traveller-specific accommodation falls within this remit. A budget of €13m is available for traveller accommodation purposes in 2019, an increase of €1m on the €12m Estimates provision for this purpose in 2018.
Local authorities submit funding proposals for individual Traveller-specific projects and developments on an annual basis. These projects are assessed on a case-by-case basis in my Department in advance of allocations being made. In addition, further funding may be considered by my Department throughout the year in the light of progress across the programmes generally.