Jobseeker's Benefit

Ceisteanna (253)

Marc MacSharry

Ceist:

253. Deputy Marc MacSharry asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if arrangements will be put in place to allow persons over 65 years of age who are claiming jobseeker's benefit who wish to go on holiday abroad for more than two weeks to claim the payment for the full period they are abroad when they return in view of the fact that this cohort are no longer required to engage with the compulsory activation process; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6136/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

There is no legally mandated retirement age in the State, and the age at which employees retire is a matter for the contract of employment between them and their employers. While such a contract may have been entered into with a retirement date of 65, in the context of the previous State pension arrangements, an employer and employee may agree to increase the duration of employment if both parties wish to do so.

Where this is not possible, there are specific measures which apply to someone claiming jobseeker’s benefit from a date after their 65th birthday. Where qualified, these recipients may continue to be eligible for that payment until reaching pension age.

Ordinarily, those in receipt of a jobseeker’s payment must engage with the Department’s activation process and can face penalty rates if they refuse to engage with offers of training or education. These criteria were eased for people aged 62 and over. However, they can still avail voluntarily of an array of supports, which are available from my Department if they wish to return to work, training or education.

Generally a person is disqualified from receiving social protection payments while absent from the State unless there are specific exemptions provided for in the legislation. There is an exemption from the absent from the State provisions for jobseeker’s benefit recipients which allows jobseekers continue to receive payment for a period up to two weeks for the purpose of taking a holiday abroad.

While customers aged 62 years and over are not obliged to engage with activation in the same way as other recipients, they must continue to satisfy the statutory qualifying conditions of the scheme in order to retain entitlement to an unemployment payment including residency in the State. It is essential to the sustainability and integrity of the jobseeker schemes that these criteria remain a core feature of the State’s supports for the unemployed. Any change in this regard for a particular cohort would be inequitable vis-à-vis the treatment of other unemployed people.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Carer's Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (254)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

254. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a carer's allowance payment for the 12-week period after the death of the carer will issue to a person (details supplied); if the matter will be expedited; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6181/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Firstly may I take this opportunity to extend my condolences to the spouse and the family of the person concerned on their recent bereavement.

Carer's allowance (CA) is a means-tested social assistance payment made to a person who is habitually resident in the State and who is providing full-time care and attention to a child or an adult who has such a disability that as a result they require that level of care.

Where a care recipient dies, there is a continued payment of carer's allowance for 12 weeks after the death. However, where the carer dies there is no continuing entitlement to payment and the claim is closed. Therefore, there is no provision for an after death payment to the spouse of the person concerned in this instance.

However, he may have an entitlement to a Widower's Contributory Pension and I have arranged for an application form to issue to him.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (255)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

255. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the full rate of disability allowance is being paid in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6198/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

When a person is in receipt of disability allowance (DA) and their child is in full-time education, an increase for qualified child (IQC) will be paid up to 22 years of age or up to the end of the academic year in which he or she reaches 22.

The person concerned was requested to submit confirmation of participation in full-time education in respect of both of her children on 25 May 2018 and 3 October 2018. To date, this has not been received in the Department. On receipt of this information a decision will be made in respect of their entitlement to IQC.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Disability Allowance Payments

Ceisteanna (256)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

256. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection when a disability allowance will issue in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6202/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The person concerned was refused disability allowance (DA) on 31 August 2018 on the grounds that they were not found to be habitually resident in the state. He was notified of this decision and advised of his right to seek a review of this decision or to appeal it to the independent Social Welfare Appeals Office. No such request was subsequently received.

It is open to this gentleman to make a new application for DA and his eligibility will be examined taking all available evidence into account.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Fuel Allowance Applications

Ceisteanna (257)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

257. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if the fuel allowance is payable in the case of persons (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6207/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Fuel allowance is a means-tested payment which aims to help householders on long-term social welfare payments with their heating costs during the winter season. It is not intended to meet those costs in full. Only one allowance is paid per household.

The applicant must satisfy a number of eligibility conditions which include being in receipt of a qualifying payment, satisfying a means test and living alone or only with other qualifying person(s).

No application for fuel allowance has been received from the person concerned. An application form has been issued to the person for completion. On receipt, their eligibility for fuel allowance will be assessed and they will be notified of the outcome in writing.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Social Welfare Benefits Payments

Ceisteanna (258)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

258. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the extent to which outstanding payments for a disability allowance or jobseeker's allowance remains in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6211/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

From the information available to the Department, the person concerned did not have a claim for either Disability Allowance or Jobseeker's Allowance in the past year.

The person concerned applied for Illness Benefit in January 2018. A form issued to her to clarify the dates for which she received holiday pay, as Illness Benefit is not payable while a person is receiving holiday pay. As this form has not been received to date the claim can not be processed.

When the requested information is received the person's claim will be processed and any payment due to her will be issued.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Working Family Payment Eligibility

Ceisteanna (259)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

259. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if a person (details supplied) qualifies for a working family payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6214/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

Working Family Payment (WFP) is an in-work payment which provides additional income support to employees on low earnings with children. To qualify for WFP, a person must be engaged in full-time employment as an employee for no less than 38 hours per fortnight (or 19 hours per week). In addition, the family income must be below a prescribed amount which varies according to family size.

To date, no application for WFP has been received from the person concerned. I have arranged for an application form to be issued to the person concerned which they should complete and submit to the Department. Their entitlement will then be examined.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Irish Water Funding

Ceisteanna (260)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

260. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 523 of 26 September 2017, the amount of subvention to Irish Water in 2017 and 2018; the estimated subvention for 2019, 2020 and 2021; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5983/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Funding for domestic water services subvention provided to Irish Water was €752.73 million in 2017; €720 million in 2018; and the estimated provision in 2019 is €855 million. This funding of Irish Water in respect of domestic water services is based on the purchase of water covering the entirety of domestic water consumption, other than excessive use, and a contribution to replace the financing of the domestic component of capital investment previously funded by debt.

Under Irish Water's Strategic Funding Plan 2019-2024, which I approved in November 2018, Irish Water's estimated subvention in respect of domestic water services will be €835m in 2020 and €910m in 2021. The actual amounts will be determined as part of the regulatory process and the annual budgetary and estimates process.

Departmental Budgets

Ceisteanna (261, 262, 263, 264, 265)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

261. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of the €1,335,680,000 capital allocation in the housing division, that is, Vote 34 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within the vote for his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6013/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

262. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of the €684,780,000 capital allocation in the water services division, that is, Vote 34 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within the vote of his Department for 2019 by specific project ; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6014/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

263. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of the €12,395,000 capital allocation in the local government division, that is, Vote 34 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within the vote of his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6015/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

264. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of the €95,735,000 capital allocation in the planning division, that is, Vote 34 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within the vote of his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6016/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

265. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the details of the €8,000,000 capital allocation in the Met Éireann division, that is, Vote 34 of the budget 2019 expenditure report within the vote of his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced in 2019; the projects that will be completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6017/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 261 to 265, inclusive, together.

Detailed information in relation to the Estimate provisions for my Department for 2019, and associated outputs, are set out in the Revised Estimates for Public Services 2019 published by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and available at www.per.gov.ie/en/rev/. The total capital funding provision for my Department of over €2.136 billion for 2019 will be used to advance capital investment projects across the range of programme areas within my Department’s remit, including local authority housing, voluntary housing, estate regeneration, the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund, serviced sites, water and wastewater services, urban regeneration and development, fire and emergency services, and Met Éireann.

In relation to housing projects, my Department publishes comprehensive status reports on a quarterly basis of all social housing construction schemes for all local authority areas, showing details such as their locations and a range of information relating to their advancement. The most recent of these reports covers the period up to the end of Quarter 3 of 2018. The report can be accessed at the following link:

http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-quarter-3-social-housing-construction-report/ .

A further update to end Q4 2018 is being compiled and will be published shortly. The bulk of the housing construction projects to be progressed in 2019 will be drawn from those reports.

With respect to water services projects, Irish Water has established a team to deal with queries from Oireachtas members on issues arising in relation to Irish Water's activities. The team may be contacted via email to oireachtasmembers@water.ie or by telephone on 1890 578 578. Alternatively, Irish Water provides full details of their projects and plans to improve water and wastewater services on their website. The details can be accessed at the following link:

www.water.ie/projects-plans/.

Details in relation to specific projects under my Department's range of capital programmes will be announced as appropriate as part of ongoing programme management over the course of 2019. However, given the number and range of projects to be planned and delivered through the programmes for which my Department is responsible, the fact that spend on individual projects will depend on project progress, and the delegated authority available to local authorities in relation to certain projects, it is not possible to provide a funding breakdown by specific individual projects along the lines envisaged in the Questions.

Property Registration Authority Expenditure

Ceisteanna (266)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

266. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the breakdown of the €560,000 capital allocation in the Property Registrations Authority within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6018/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Property Registration Authority operates as an independent office under the aegis of my Department and is funded by its own Vote (Vote 23). The Chief Executive Officer is the Accounting Officer for all expenditure and income under Vote 23.

A service for Oireachtas members has been put in place through which information can be obtained from the PRA directly, in a speedy and efficient manner. The contact email for this service is reps@prai.ie.

Valuation Office

Ceisteanna (267)

Barry Cowen

Ceist:

267. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the breakdown of the €250,000 capital allocation in the Valuation Office within his Department for 2019 by specific project; the projects that will be commenced and completed in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6019/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Valuation Office operates as an independent office under the aegis of my Department and is funded by its own Vote (Vote 16). The Commissioner of Valuation is the Accounting Officer for all expenditure and income under Vote 16.

A service for Oireachtas members has been put in place through which information can be obtained from the Valuation Office directly, in a speedy and efficient manner. The contact email for this service is oireachtas.enquiries@VALOFF.ie.

Protected Disclosures

Ceisteanna (268)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

268. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the actions he has taken regarding the protected disclosure received on the way in which roads funding has been spent in Cavan County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6062/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Two separate but related submissions under the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 which concerned allegations of wrongdoing in Cavan County Council have been received in my Department. Following an initial screening of the first received submission, my Department asked the Chief Executive of the Council to conduct an appropriate investigation into the allegations made therein. This investigation was completed last year and my Department received a copy of the report of that investigation from Cavan County Council in August 2018, which I understand is being followed up appropriately by the Council.

My Department subsequently asked the Council to examine allegations of wrongdoing involving financial irregularities contained in the second received submission. A number of these allegations had already been considered as part of the investigation referred to above.

I am constrained from putting information about these cases into the public domain by my obligations under section 16 of the Protected Disclosures Act 2014 to protect the identity of persons by whom a protected disclosure is made and under section 13 of the Act regarding protections for persons from detriment because of the making of a protected disclosure. However, my Department continues to engage with Cavan County Council in relation to the matters involved and will be considering what further actions may be appropriate, beyond those being taken by the Council itself.

Mortgage to Rent Scheme Data

Ceisteanna (269, 270)

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

269. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applications made since the introduction of the mortgage to rent scheme; the number of applications successfully granted since the introduction of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6070/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Ryan

Ceist:

270. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the primary reason for applicants being refused the mortgage to rent scheme since its inception; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6071/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 269 and 270 together.

Since the introduction of the Mortgage to Rent (MTR) scheme in 2012, a total of 4,475 cases have been submitted under the scheme to the end of 2018. Of the 4,475 cases submitted, 3,043 were ineligible or terminated during the process. Of the remaining cases submitted, 445 have been completed, and the remaining 987 applications are being actively progressed.

The reasons why a case may not have progressed are varied and can depend on the household, the property, the ability of the Approved Housing Body (AHB) sector to increase its involvement in the scheme, the sale of the property not being agreed between the lender and AHB or an MTR application being withdrawn by either the lender or the borrower. The Housing Agency publishes, on a quarterly basis, detailed statistical information on the operation of the MTR scheme including the reasons for cases not progressing and the number of such cases. This information is available on the Agency's website at the following link:

https://www.housingagency.ie/our-services/housing-supply-services/mortgage-to-rent.aspx .

The primary reason for cases not progressing is the withdrawal of MTR applications. To the end of 2018, the number of MTR applications withdrawn was 1,173. All withdrawals are notified by the lender and the underlying reasons for withdrawal are not indicated. However, it is known that the 1,173 cases included some 500 applications that were incorrectly submitted by lenders in the early stages of the scheme when lenders were not familiar with the scheme's purpose and operation.

Not all MTR applications will develop into fully completed transactions given the understandable reluctance of those in mortgage arrears to lose ownership of their homes. Such a decision cannot be taken lightly and so the MTR process allows the borrower enough time to consider the option fully. If other options rather than losing home ownership are put forward by the lender, a borrower is more likely to avail of these. This is particularly the case in the context of a now improving economy.

A Review of the MTR scheme, published on 8 February 2017, introduced a range of amendments to the eligibility criteria and administration of the scheme in order to improve its operation. The Review, which is available at the following link explored the avenues and impediments to participation in the scheme and recommended a number of actions to make the scheme work better for borrowers. 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 eligibility requirements of the scheme were widened to include a greater number of borrowers and a larger number of property types. Increasing awareness and understanding of the scheme has been a priority and a new website - www.mortgagetorent.ie - dedicated to guiding and advising borrowers has been developed. In addition, new structures and arrangements have been put in place to encourage a greater number of entities to take part in the scheme.

While it will continue to be the case that not all MTR applications will develop into completed transactions, the implementation of the resulting actions from the Review means that MTR is available to provide a long-term solution for more households in mortgage distress, where appropriate.

Private Rented Accommodation Standards

Ceisteanna (271)

Seán Haughey

Ceist:

271. Deputy Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will review the regulations in place concerning standards in privately rented accommodation in order that it is compulsory for double glazed windows to be provided in such accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6072/19]

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 will 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 will 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.

Part L of the Building Regulations governs the replacement of windows in existing dwellings. Part L does not apply to works to an existing building which is a “protected structure” or a “proposed protected structure” within the meaning of the Planning and Development Act 2000.

Technical Guidance Document TGD L 2017 gives guidance on acceptable levels of provision to ensure that heat loss through fabric elements (including windows) provided by way of material alteration or replacement to an existing dwelling is limited insofar as reasonably practicable. TGD L 2017 is available on my Department's website at:

www.housing.gov.ie/housing/building-standards/tgd-part-l-conservation-fuel-and-energy/technical-guidance-document-l-6.

The maximum U-value, which measures the maximum heat loss permitted for Material Alterations or Material Change of Use of windows, is given in Table 5 of TGD L 2017 as 1.6 W/m2 K (e.g. a double glazed window with 12 mm argon spacing and low-E glass).

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) offers several types of grants for the energy efficient retrofitting of dwellings including the replacement of windows. SEAI provide more information, in their Grants section, on their website www.seai.ie.

Building Regulations do not apply retrospectively and do not provide specific requirements for privately rented accommodation. I have no plans, at present, to amend the regulations to make it compulsory that double glazed windows be provided in such accommodation.

Social and Affordable Housing Funding

Ceisteanna (272, 273)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

272. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount of funding to approved housing bodies, that is, not local authorities, for the provision of social housing in each of the years 2011 to 2018; and the number of units for social housing provided by approved housing bodies in each of the years 2011 to 2018, in tabular form. [6098/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

273. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the funding made available to local authorities for the provision of social housing in each of the years 2011 to 2018. [6099/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 272 and 273 together.

Details of the funding provided to local authorities for the provision of social housing through build, acquisition and leasing programmes, for each year over the period 2011 to 2018, are set out in the following table.

2011€m

2012€m

2013€m

2014€m

2015€m

2016€m

2017€m

2018€m

Build, Acquisition, Lease

313.73

305.65

222.09

227.33

351.82

462.09

802.0

1,262.84

HAP & RAS

115.92

125.43

130.95

133.9

137.43

188.69

295.53

419.94

Total

429.65

431.08

353.04

361.23

489.25

650.78

1,097.53

1,682.78

The table above includes the funding provided to local authorities to deliver social housing in partnership with Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) through the following schemes:

- Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS)

- Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF)

- AHB Mortgage to Rent Scheme (MTR)

- Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP).

The funding for these AHB delivery schemes is provided by my Department directly to the local authorities which, in turn, advance the funding to AHBs as appropriate. The funding provided for these specific schemes for each year over the period 2011 to 2018 is set out in the table below.

AHB Programmes

2011€m

2012€m

2013€m

2014€m

2015€m

2016€m

2017€m

2018€m

CAS, CALF, AHB MTR, SHCEP

39.94

68.44

48.44

49.31

68.06

99.44

161.92

269.64

In addition, over the same period, funding of €529m was provided to local authorities in respect of the now closed AHB Capital Loan & Subsidy Scheme for the repayment of loan charges to the Housing Finance Agency, and for the AHB Communal Facilities Scheme which provides funding toward the capital costs of providing communal facilities in voluntary housing schemes.

In relation to the number of social housing units provided by AHBs, the table below shows a breakdown of additional AHB delivery across all delivery streams over the period 2011 to Q3 2018. Final outputs for 2018 will be published shortly.

Year

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

(to Q3)

Total additional AHB units delivered- all delivery streams

860

886

385

896

1,316

1,169

2,330

1,151

Homeless Persons Data

Ceisteanna (274)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

274. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason there were 2,002 PEA beds and 2,162 STA beds occupied in November 2018, while in December 2018, the PEA beds had decreased by 877 to 1,125 and the STA beds increased by 876 to 3,038 [6106/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department publishes a monthly report on homelessness. The monthly report is based on data provided by housing authorities and produced through the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS). The report captures details of individuals utilising State-funded emergency accommodation arrangements that are overseen by housing authorities and can be accessed at the following link:

www.housing.gov.ie/housing/homelessness/other/homelessness-data.

The figures referred to by the Deputy relating to the accommodation categories in the December 2018 report were incorrect and were due to an error in the compilation of that report, which was published on 30 January 2019. This error, which did not impact on the overall numbers reported in emergency accommodation, has now been amended and a corrected version of the report is available on my Department's website.

Foreshore Licence Applications

Ceisteanna (275)

Joe Carey

Ceist:

275. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position on a matter (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6157/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department has not received any application under the Foreshore Act on this matter. On the basis of the Ordnance Survey Ireland (OSI) Historic 25" Map, the lands do not appear to be foreshore. This matter may be more appropriate to Inland Fisheries Ireland which has responsibility for the protection, management and conservation of Ireland's inland fisheries and sea angling resources, including its 128,000 hectares of lakes. Inland Fisheries Ireland falls under the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

Local Authority Housing Provision

Ceisteanna (276)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

276. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the new guidelines being issued in regard to local housing assessments needs in each local authority as outlined under the national planning framework; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6187/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

One of the important components at local authority level in determining both supply and demand for housing will be the preparation, in the context of National Policy Objective 37 of the National Planning Framework (NPF), of a "Housing Need Demand Assessment" (HNDA) for each local authority area in order to correlate and accurately align overall future housing requirements, as an evolution of their existing Housing Strategy requirements under Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000. This will assist local authorities in ensuring long-term strategic housing needs are met across all types, tenures and locations across their functional areas, both urban and rural.

My Department intends to provide further guidance to local authorities in this regard later this year, to support their HDNA work as part of the review of their Development Plans, which will fall to be completed once Regional, Spatial and Economic Strategies have been adopted.

My Department is also considering how the aggregate view of HNDAs will feed into national reporting, including in particular in monitoring and assessing delivery and performance in line with NPF objectives.

Departmental Staff Data

Ceisteanna (277)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

277. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of staff engaged in the housing delivery office per annum since its establishment; the average length of service in the office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6192/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In line with the commitment under Action 2.9 of Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, a dedicated Housing Delivery Office (HDO) was established within my Department, in August 2016, to support the accelerated delivery of housing across the social and private sectors, and tenure spectrum, in an integrated and timely manner. Working with the broader Housing and Planning Divisions in my Department, other key agencies, local authorities and the construction sector, the HDO supports the roll-out of complex projects, including identifying and resolving barriers to delivery, and monitors progress across key sites as they progress.

At the time of its establishment, the HDO comprised a team of 4 people with extensive expertise in project management, finance, planning and local government, including staff seconded from the local government sector and the National Development Finance Agency.

Having carried out a range of initial initiatives, and taking account of the fact that some assignments to the office were time-limited, the HDO was refocused in September 2017 to work more closely on supporting local housing delivery and land management. In that context, the current team of 3 comprises 1 civil servant and 2 officers with experience of housing delivery and the local government sector. These officers have service ranging from 8 to 27 months in the HDO. In addition to this complement of staff the HDO draws on supports from other relevant Business Units in my Department and other relevant public bodies and this can give rise to movements of staff resources between these connected areas from time to time.

As with all critical areas of activity in my Department, the resources available to the HDO are kept under regular review in the context of the ongoing evolution of the Office’s role.