Housing Data

Ceisteanna (663)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

663. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if responsibility for housing output statistics will be allocated to the Central Statistics Office in view of differing estimates for housing output in 2018 as occurred over several recent years; his views on the fact that less than 18,000 housing units were completed in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5428/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Central Statistics Office began publishing their New Dwelling Completion series in June 2018 following a lengthy collaboration between my Department, the CSO and ESB Networks. Data published by the CSO indicates that there were 17,161 new dwelling completions in the year to end Q3 2018, which is a very significant 33% increase on the level in the year to end Q3 2017. Relevant data can be found on the CSO website at the following link:

https://www.cso.ie/en/statistics/construction/newdwellingcompletions/ .

Since the publication of Rebuilding Ireland in July 2016, annual output, according to this indicator, has almost doubled and significant increases in activity are also evident across a range of other relevant indicators, including planning permissions and commencements.

The CSO is due to publish full year 2018 new dwelling completions data on 7 February 2018.

Fire Stations Upgrade

Ceisteanna (664)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

664. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a funding request has been received from Dublin City Council for the refurbishment of fire stations within Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5433/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The provision of a fire service in its functional area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of fire station premises, is a statutory function of individual fire authorities under the Fire Services Act 1981. My Department supports the fire authorities through setting general policy, providing a central training programme, issuing guidance on operational and other related matters and providing capital funding for priority infrastructural projects.

In February 2016, my Department announced a five-year Fire Services Capital Programme with an allocation of €40 million, based on an annual €8 million allocation, to be used for the purchase of fire appliances and specialist equipment, building or upgrading of prioritised Fire Stations, an upgrade of the Communications and Mobilisation system and improvements to Training Centres. The five-year programme proposed the construction/ refurbishment of twenty six fire stations. This included sixteen new builds and ten upgrade/ refurbishments.

Each fire authority presents my Department with its requests and the case for funding for prioritised capital requirements. Continued investment in the fire appliance fleet has been identified as a key national priority. All requests for funding from my Department’s Fire Services Capital Programme for any fire appliances, equipment or fire station projects are evaluated with regard to local authorities’ priorities, the relevant area risk categorisation, the value for money offered by proposals and the totality of requests from fire authorities.

The greater Dublin area is served by an infrastructure of well-placed fire stations which were put in place in the 1980s and 1990s, supported by funding from my Department. These enable a rapid response to emergency calls for fire service assistance in the four Dublin local authorities who fund the operation of Dublin Fire Brigade. While my Department is aware of discussions about possible relocations of some fire stations, my Department has not received any recent requests for funding for fire stations from Dublin City Council. However, under the capital programme, funding has been approved for six new fire appliances for Dublin Fire Brigade at a cost of approximately €1.8 million. A further approval for six vehicles with 4 x 4 capability was also issued to Dublin Fire Brigade in May 2018. An overall appliance fleet replacement proposal, including a request for a turntable ladder costing approximately €800,000, is under review between my Department and Dublin Fire Brigade .

The projects in the capital programme are reassessed on an annual basis and priority may be adjusted to bring forward projects offering best value-for-money and to take account of the state of readiness of individual projects.

Local Authority Housing Waiting Lists

Ceisteanna (665)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

665. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applicants removed from the housing list in each of the years 2014 to 2018 due to being over the income thresholds by local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5437/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Details on the number of households qualified for social housing support in each local authority area are provided in the statutory Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA). The SSHA has been conducted on an annual basis since 2016, prior to which it was carried out once every three years with the last Summary under this approach having taken place in 2013 i.e. there was no SSHA carried out in either 2014 or 2015. The most recently conducted SSHA, carried out in June 2018, details the number of households on all local authority waiting lists as at 11 June 2018 (the count date).

The SSHA process requires all local authorities to review those households who are on their housing list but who are not currently in receipt of social housing support. This is to ensure that the details of the applicant households are up to date and accurate and that they remain eligible for, and in need of, social housing support in accordance with the criteria set down in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and associated Social Housing Assessment Regulations.

As part of this assessment, all local authorities wrote to relevant households, including those in transitional and shared or emergency accommodation, if relevant, informing them of the assessment process and seeking updated information where necessary.

The oversight and management of these lists is a matter for the relevant local authority in accordance with the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and associated regulations. On review, households found to exceed the limits on income eligibility grounds were removed from the list.

Complete national data on the number of households removed from housing lists due to their income exceeding the relevant eligibility thresholds in 2016 and 2017 is not available. However a separate exercise carried out by the Housing Agency in 2018, as part of the SSHA 2018 process, indicated that 971 households were removed from the list on income eligibility grounds. This represents just under 9% of the total number removed from lists during the period.

Social and Affordable Housing Eligibility

Ceisteanna (666)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

666. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to increase the income threshold criteria for eligibility for social housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5438/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 prescribe maximum net income limits for each local authority, in different bands according to the area concerned, with income being defined and assessed according to a standard Household Means Policy.

The income bands and the authority area assigned to each band were based on an assessment of the income needed to provide for a household's basic needs, plus a comparative analysis of the local rental cost of housing accommodation across the country. It is important to note that the limits introduced at that time also reflected a blanket increase of €5,000 introduced prior to the new system coming into operation, in order to broaden the base from which social housing tenants are drawn, both promoting sustainable communities and also providing a degree of future-proofing.

As part of the broader social housing reform agenda, a review of income eligibility for social housing supports in each local authority area is underway. The Housing Agency is carrying out the detailed statistical work, which will underpin this review, on behalf of my Department.

The review will also have regard to current initiatives being brought forward in terms of affordability and cost rental and will be completed when the impacts of these parallel initiatives have been considered.

Planning Data

Ceisteanna (667)

Mattie McGrath

Ceist:

667. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applications made and exemptions granted, respectively under the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2018 (details supplied) by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5483/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Planning and Development (Amendment) (No.2) Regulations 2018, which came into operation on 8 February 2018, provide for an exemption from the requirement to obtain planning permission in respect of the change of use of certain vacant commercial premises, including vacant areas above ground floor premises, to residential use.

This measure is aimed at facilitating the productive re-use of qualifying vacant commercial buildings as homes, while also facilitating urban renewal and the bringing on stream of increased housing supply.

While there is no planning application required, as such works are exempted development, the Regulations contain a notification requirement whereby a person intending to avail of the exemption is required to notify the local planning authority in writing at least 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the proposed change of use and related works. Such notifications must also indicate details of the number of housing units being provided under the exemption.

Planning authorities are required to maintain records of such notifications received and to report annually to my Department in respect of the notifications received in previous calendar year. As 2018 was the first year that this exemption provision was in operation, planning authorities should now be collating the relevant information for the purpose of submitting their first annual return to my Department. My Department has recently issued a reminder notice to planning authorities in this regard.

Rents Data

Ceisteanna (668)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

668. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the local authorities that impose and do not impose, respectively, a maximum amount of rent payable under their rent scheme for different property types; when he expects the draft national differential rents framework to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5535/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

As at June 2018, there were 36 Differential Rent Schemes in place across the country. While almost 60% of the schemes have a maximum rent, only five have different maximums for different property types e.g. 2 bed, 3 bed houses etc.

At present the making of rent schemes and the setting of rent levels is a matter for each local authority under section 58 of the Housing Act 1966. As a result, the levels of rents charged vary across authorities with the result that households in similar circumstances may be charged different amounts of rent depending on the city/county they are living in.

Considerable work has been carried out by my Department in developing a draft national differential rents framework under section 31 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. Such a framework has as its main aim the facilitation of a significant harmonisation in local authority rents, whilst retaining the general principle of rents related to household income.

This work has been examined further in the light of the broader commitment given in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, to review the disparate systems of differential rent for social housing in place across local authorities. The overall objective is to ensure that housing supports are fair and sustainable and prioritise those on lowest incomes.

I expect that the review will be completed shortly.

Mortgage to Rent Scheme Eligibility

Ceisteanna (669)

Thomas Byrne

Ceist:

669. Deputy Thomas Byrne asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on whether it is appropriate for a local authority to refuse to recommend a house for the mortgage to rent scheme on the grounds that the house is located in a rural area. [5539/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Mortgage to Rent (MTR) scheme introduced in 2012 is targeted at those households in mortgage arrears who are eligible for social housing support whose mortgage is unsustainable and who have very limited options, if any, to meet their long-term housing needs themselves. One of the main criteria underpinning the scheme is that the applicants are eligible for social housing.

It is a matter for individual local authorities to assess whether the property the subject of a MTR application is suitable to the household's needs and if there is a social housing demand in the area concerned beyond the needs of the current occupying household. This assessment is undertaken in respect of all properties put forward for the MTR scheme regardless of whether the property concerned is located in a rural or urban area.

A property may be deemed by a local authority to be unsuitable for social housing on the basis of this assessment. If MTR is not an option, it will be a matter for the borrower to discuss with their lender if there are other options available to resolve their mortgage arrears situation. Likewise, the borrower, if eligible for social housing, may also be able to consider other social housing options, including accessing the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).

The Abhaile service is a national mortgage arrears resolution service, provided free of charge to mortgage holders in arrears and its aim is to help these borrowers to find the best solutions and keep them, wherever possible, in their own homes. The unique element of Abhaile is that it brings together, for the first time, the full range of supports and services required by borrowers in home mortgage arrears. A dedicated adviser will work with the borrower and their lender to find the best solution for their particular situation. The Money Advice and Budgetary Service (MABS) acts as the gateway for the service and can be contacted by telephoning (076)1072000 or by accessing their website at: www.mabs.ie/abhaile.

Planning Issues

Ceisteanna (670)

Clare Daly

Ceist:

670. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the safeguarding conditions attached by An Bord Pleanála to its grant of permission to a plant (details supplied) in 2018. [5563/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under section 34(10) of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, An Bord Pleanála is required to state in a decision in respect of a planning appeal the main reasons and considerations on which its decision is based, including reasons for the imposition of any conditions. This information is included in both the Direction and Order issued by the Board in relation to any particular case. These documents, in addition to the relevant Inspector's report, are made publically available for inspection on the website of An Bord Pleanála and at its offices within 3 days following the making of the Board decision.

I understand that the documents referred to above in relation to the particular development to which the Deputy refers are publically available in the manner outlined above.

In the event that the Deputy wishes to obtain further information in relation to this matter from An Bord Pleanála, arrangements have been put in place by each Agency under the remit of my Department, including An Bord Pleanála, to facilitate the provision of information by State Bodies directly to members of the Oireachtas. The contact email address for An Bord Pleanála is oireachtasqueries@pleanala.ie.

Private Rented Accommodation Standards

Ceisteanna (671)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

671. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to amend the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017 to ensure that all rental properties are more energy efficient and that fines would be issued to landlords who are renting out homes that fall under the certain energy rating as recently implemented in the UK; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5590/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The minimum standards for rental accommodation are prescribed in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017. They specify requirements in relation to a range of matters, such as structural repair, sanitary facilities, heating, ventilation, natural light, safety of gas, oil and electrical supply and fire. All landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their rented properties comply with these Regulations. Responsibility for enforcement of the Regulations rests with the relevant local authority.

Following enactment of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, local authorities have a strengthened legislative framework available to them which provides for the issuing of Improvement Notices and Prohibition Notices where landlords are in breach of their obligations. Under Section 34 of Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992, any person who by act or omission contravenes the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2017, fails to comply with an improvement notice, or re-lets a house in breach of a prohibition notice, will be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €5,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or both. If the contravention, failure to comply or re-letting is continued after conviction, the person will be guilty of a further offence on every day on which the contravention, failure to comply or re-letting continues and for each such offence shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding €400 per day.

If an inspection identifies that a property has been found to be non-compliant with the regulations, it is a matter for the Local Authority to determine what action is necessary and appropriate, including the issuing of an Improvement Letter, Improvement Notice, Prohibition Notice or further legal recourse.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (the DCCAE) has established an Advisory Group to examine the feasibility and implications of setting minimum thermal efficiency performance standards for properties offered for rent or lease in the residential sector. The Group, on which my Department is represented, will advise DCCAE on how best to progress energy efficiency upgrades in the rental sector and on the approach to public consultation on the issue. Key considerations will focus on appropriate approaches to regulation, and the timescale for introduction of any requirements, as well as any associated potential supports.

Tenant Purchase Scheme Review

Ceisteanna (672)

Charlie McConalogue

Ceist:

672. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when he will publish the report on the review of the tenant purchase scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5647/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In line with the commitment given in Rebuilding Ireland a review of the first 12 months of the Scheme’s operation has been completed and a full report has been prepared setting out findings and recommendations.

I hope to be in a position to publish the review shortly, following completion of consideration of a number of implementation issues arising.

Architects Register

Ceisteanna (673)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

673. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 268 of 23 January 2018, if he will address matters (details supplied) on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5648/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Building Control Act 2007 designated the Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland (RIAI) and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland (SCSI) as the registration bodies for those professions.

The Fennell Review recommended in 2013 that in the context of any future reviews, consideration might be given to the introduction of an overarching supervisory regulator for the various professional bodies. However, subsequently, the Building Control (Amendment) Regulations 2014 were introduced, requiring greater accountability in relation to compliance with Building Regulations in the form of statutory certification of design and construction by registered construction professionals and builders, lodgment of compliance documentation, mandatory inspections during construction and validation and registration of certificates. A Certificate of Compliance on Completion is jointly signed by the builder and the assigned certifier. In effect, the statutory Certificate of Compliance on Completion certifies that a building is compliant with all relevant requirements of the Building Regulations. This has brought an order and discipline in relation to compliance on all construction projects and has enhanced customer confidence in this area; accordingly, I have no plans at this stage to introduce any new arrangements in relation to the registration of architects.

As indicated in my reply to Question No. 268 of 23 January 2019, my Department will be reviewing the relevant reporting arrangements in relation to the RIAI's functions under the Building Control Act 2007 in the context of the reporting received in respect of 2018. The Department is currently engaging with the RIAI in this regard to improve the presentation of the relevant income and expenditure in order that there is full transparency in this matter.

Planning Issues

Ceisteanna (674)

Brendan Smith

Ceist:

674. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 314 of 7 February 2018, his plans to improve the limited criteria that pertains to planning regulations for afforestation in view of the serious concerns of many persons and communities in areas such as west County Cavan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5666/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Planning and Development Regulations 2001 were amended in September 2011 by the Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2011 to provide for initial afforestation to be exempted development, I.e. exempt from the requirement to obtain planning permission.

The justification for exempting this form of activity from the requirement to obtain planning permission was because such activity was subject to a separate statutory development consent system under the European Communities (Forest Consent and Assessment) Regulations 2010 (the 2010 Regulations), administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. The 2010 Regulations were subsequently revoked and have been replaced by the Forestry Regulations 2017, following the commencement of the Forestry Act 2014.

Similar to the 2010 Regulations, the 2017 Regulations make specific provision for public consultation in the application and approval processes relating to afforestation developments. As part of the statutory public consultation process, site notices must be erected at all entrances (to the proposed site) onto the public road in respect of forestry licence applications. Furthermore, notice of such applications is published on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine’s website, under public consultation.

I have no proposals to amend the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 in this regard as this matter now falls under the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Housing Adaptation Grant Applications

Ceisteanna (675)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

675. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if funding will be made available to Dublin City Council to progress an application by a person (details supplied) under the adaptions scheme for persons with disabilities. [5686/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department provides funding under the Disabled Persons Grants (DPG) scheme to local authorities for adaptations and extensions to their existing social housing stock to meet the needs of local authority tenants. The scheme applies to adaptations that are necessary to address the needs of older people or people with a disability who may require stair-lifts, grab-rails, showers, wet-rooms, ramps, etc. It also provides funding for extensions such as the installation of a downstairs bedroom or bathroom or in the case of overcrowding.

My Department will shortly be issuing a call to all local authorities requesting their funding requirements in respect of the DPG scheme for 2019. It should be noted that works can take place throughout the year to allow for the full utilisation of the annual funding allocation to each local authority and, to facilitate this and to ensure that there is no delay in respect of priority works under the programme, local authorities may undertake works up to a maximum value of 65% of their previous year's allocation in advance of notification of the current year's allocation.

It is a matter for all local authorities, including Dublin City Council, to prioritise the works required under this scheme and to assess individual applications in that context.

Water Abstraction Regulation

Ceisteanna (676)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

676. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the research carried out to establish the overall risk of pollution to Killinure Lough, County Westmeath, through the establishment of a water extraction scheme by Irish Water; and if this research has taken into account that water levels in Killinure will refill mainly from Lough Ree and therefore environmental damage will take longer to rectify. [5689/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

As outlined in my reply to Question No. 1120 of 15 January 2019 on this matter, I have no statutory role in this matter as proposals to abstract water for the purpose of public supply are a matter for Irish Water under the provisions of the Water Supplies Act 1942 and any required planning permission is a matter for the relevant local authority. Environmental and other considerations are taken into account as a normal part of the planning process.

Animal Culls

Ceisteanna (677)

Martin Ferris

Ceist:

677. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of section 42 licences that have been issued annually since 2010 for the purpose of culling grey seals at fishing, aquaculture and salmonid river sites; the number of these that have been issued to commercial fishermen; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5183/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

There are two species of seals in Irish waters - the Harbour or Common Seal and the more numerous Grey Seal.

While seals are protected under the EU Habitats Directive and the Wildlife Acts, permits may be obtained under section 42 of the Wildlife Acts to control seals where significant damage is being caused. Permits may be issued in response to specific applications and each application is considered on its merits. This redress is available, for example, to individual fishermen to control damage to fisheries by seals at particular locations.

In the period 2010 to the end of 2018 my Department issued 28 Section 42 permits to control seals. Some 21 permits allowed for the killing of seals which were restricted, in the main, to one or two seals per permit while 5 permits allowed for scaring only and 2 permits permitted both scaring and killing. Twenty of these permits related to commercial fisheries.

Heritage Council Funding

Ceisteanna (678, 680)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

678. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to reverse cuts in local heritage plan funding used to implement local heritage plans; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5201/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

680. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht her plans to provide the Heritage Council with additional funding in order to fulfil its role in providing a community grant scheme in 2019 and 2020; if a similar funding stream can be provided; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5239/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 678 and 680 together.

The Heritage Council, which is funded by my Department, is independent in the performance of its functions. It is primarily a matter for the Heritage Council itself to decide how its funding is allocated across the range of research, education and conservation programmes it supports, including its Community Grants Scheme and funding for local heritage plans.

I was pleased to announce increased funding of €6.588m for the Council 2019, compared to €6.377 in 2018.

The voted funding allocation to the Heritage Council each year is published in the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform’s Revised Estimates Volume . The amounts since 2015 are as follows:

Year

Total (€m)

2015

4,743

2016

5,243

2017

6,254

2018

6,377

2019

6,588

The Heritage Council is at an exciting and defining moment in 2019 with the launch of its new Strategic Plan “Heritage at the Heart ” 2018-2022 and the appointment of its new CEO, Virginia Teehan, from 1 February. I understand that final decisions on funding in 2019 across the Council’s various activities will be made by the new CEO and the Council in the coming weeks and announcements will be made by the Heritage Council in due course.

Heritage Fund

Question No. 680 answered with Question No. 678.

Ceisteanna (679)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Ceist:

679. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the amount of funding allocated for heritage grants nationally by county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5203/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department provides financial support for the protection of heritage buildings and historic structures through grant schemes which are generally administered by the local authorities.

The Built Heritage Investment Scheme (BHIS) is a scheme for the repair and conservation of structures on the local authority Record of Protected Structures. It is designed to leverage private capital for investment in small scale conservation projects across the country and to support the employment of skilled conservation professionals, tradespersons and craftsmen and women.

The Historic Structures Fund (HSF) (formerly the Structures at Risk Fund) is for conservation and enhancement to heritage structures, in both private and public ownership, for the benefit of communities and the public.

In November 2018, I announced a total of €4.3 million in funding for the BHIS and HSF for 2019. Both schemes were open for applications from 28 November to 31 January and applications will be assessed with successful applicants to be notified in due course.

Full details of both of the schemes are available on my Department’s website and on each local authority’s website.

I approved a further €1 million in funding nationally for the Historic Towns Initiative 2019 , which is a joint initiative of my Department and the Heritage Council. Applications must be made to the Heritage Council by local authorities before the closing date of 8 February. The applications will be assessed by an expert panel and successful towns will be notified shortly thereafter.

The Heritage Council also provides other grants for the protection and preservation of our heritage. It is primarily a matter for the Heritage Council to decide how its funding should be allocated across the range of research, education and conservation programmes it supports. Details are published by the Heritage Council on its website www.heritagecouncil.ie.

Amounts awarded by County in 2018: Structures at Risk Fund

Local Authority

No. of Projects

Amount Awarded

Carlow County Council

2

€38,000

Cavan County Council

5

€84,000

Clare County Council

2

€32,000

Cork City Council

1

€20,000

Cork County Council

2

€50,000

Donegal County Council

3

€59,000

Dublin City Council

4

€74,000

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

2

€30,000

Fingal County Council

4

€74,000

Galway City Council

1

€22,000

Galway County Council

2

€22,000

Kerry County Council

3

€42,000

Kildare County Council

3

€66,000

Kilkenny County Council

2

€37,000

Laois County Council

2

€37,000

Leitrim County Council

3

€45,000

Limerick City & County Council

2

€35,000

Longford County Council

3

€50,000

Louth County Council

4

€75,000

Mayo County Council

3

€46,000

Meath County Council

2

€27,000

Monaghan County Council

2

€24,000

Offaly County Council

1

€22,00

Roscommon County Council

4

€67,000

Sligo County Council

1

€15,000

Tipperary County Council

2

€32,000

Waterford City & County Council

3

€63,000

Westmeath County Council

3

€43,000

Wexford County Council

3

€45,000

Wicklow County Council

2

€24,000

TOTALS

76

€1,300,000

2018: Amounts awarded by County under the Built Heritage Investment Scheme

Local Authority

No. of Projects

Amount Awarded

Carlow County Council

4

50,000

Cavan County Council

7

50,000

Clare County Council

13

50,000

Cork City Council

8

85,000

Cork County Council

5

50,000

Donegal County Council

8

50,000

Dublin City Council

39

298,000

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

12

50,000

Fingal County Council

7

50,000

Galway City Council

4

67,000

Galway County Council

9

50,000

Kerry County Council

11

50,000

Kildare County Council

10

50,000

Kilkenny County Council

11

88,000

Laois County Council

7

50,000

Leitrim County Council

4

50,000

Limerick City & County Council

21

108,000

Longford County Council

5

50,000

Louth County Council

5

50,000

Mayo County Council

8

50,000

Meath County Council

5

50,000

Monaghan County Council

5

50,000

Offaly County Council

10

50,000

Roscommon County Council

8

50,000

Sligo County Council

10

50,000

South Dublin County Council

4

50,000

Tipperary County Council

11

50,000

Waterford City & County Council

15

104,000

Westmeath County Council

4

50,000

Wexford County Council

7

50,000

Wicklow County Council

7

50,000

TOTALS

284

2,000,000

Question No. 680 answered with Question No. 678.