Repair and Leasing Scheme

Ceisteanna (664)

John Curran

Ceist:

664. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of properties offered and secured under the repair and lease scheme by each local authority in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8240/19]

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 Lease (RLS) scheme; 48 homes had been brought back into use and were tenanted; and 122 agreements for lease had been signed. Further progress under the scheme will be evident in the Q4 2018 data which will be published shortly.

A detailed breakdown of  the 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 following table:

Table 1: RLS Delivery

Local Authority

Units Delivered - 2017

Units Delivered -  Q1-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

Vacant Sites Levy

Ceisteanna (665)

John Curran

Ceist:

665. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the effectiveness of the vacant site levy; the sites under development as a direct result of this initiative; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8241/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under the vacant site levy provisions in the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015, planning authorities are empowered to apply a vacant site levy of 3% of the market value of relevant vacant sites where a site exceeds 0.05 hectares in area, was in the planning authority’s opinion vacant or idle in 2018, and is in an area identified by the planning authority in its development plan or local area plan for residential or regeneration development. As signalled in Budget 2018, the rate of the levy has been increased to 7% for sites on a local authority vacant sites register from 2019 onwards.

My Department does not maintain a central register of vacant sites, as each local authority administers the vacant site register in respect of their functional area. As provided for under the Act, the register in respect of each local authority is available for inspection at its offices and online on its website. However, on foot of a recent review of the on-line vacant site registers across all local authority areas, I understand that there are collectively over 380 individual sites currently on the local registers. Over 130 of these sites were entered on the local vacant site registers on 1 January 2018 and will therefore be subject to the levy in 2019, unless development works were activated in the interim.

My Department will continue to monitor implementation of the levy to ensure that it is being effectively applied, in line with its intended purpose of incentivising the development of vacant or under-utilised sites in urban areas. To support this work, my Department requested a progress report on implementation of the Vacant Site Levy in October 2018 from each local authority. My Department has received the progress reports and is currently collating and reviewing the information received. From an initial review of the progress reports, it is noted that planning authorities have indicated that over 40 sites have been removed from registers due to construction work commencing or development being completed on the site.

Local Authority Housing Funding

Ceisteanna (666)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

666. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the funding allocated to each local authority in each of the years 2015 to 2018 with respect to refurbishing voids, purchasing properties, building new units and for the housing assistance payment, HAP, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8302/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The funding provided to each local authority for the construction of local authority social housing, the purchase of properties by local authorities for social housing and for the refurbishment of voids for each year over the period 2015 to 2018, is set out in the following table. 

Local Authority

2015 Funding

€m

2016 Funding

€m

2017 Funding

€m

2018 Funding

€m

Carlow

2.19

3.92

9.12

10.0

Cavan

2.23

1.95

4.15

7.13

Clare

5.70

4.78

13.00

17.06

Cork County

10.37

21.08

37.91

59.66

Donegal

2.97

3.76

13.77

15.29

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown

 12.36

 9.98

 31.58

26.85

Fingal

35.24

6.55

42.78

73.42

Galway County

1.29

1.70

4.38

13.37

Kerry

5.19

4.90

13.25

25.23

Kildare

12.10

21.57

28.04

59.42

Kilkenny

5.17

6.88

10.91

18.35

Laois

3.87

2.55

8.66

4.56

Leitrim

0.53

2.04

1.37

3.67

Limerick

0.54

2.24

7.41

14.36

Longford

0.99

2.09

4.45

11.79

Louth

4.56

7.64

1.59

8.07

Mayo

1.46

4.46

6.08

6.76

Meath

5.89

12.61

14.68

41.72

Monaghan

2.32

5.89

12.73

8.89

Offaly

2.76

3.23

3.99

7.58

Roscommon

0.99

2.46

4.97

3.56

Sligo

3.23

4.10

7.08

10.50

South Dublin

6.54

15.15

22.99

75.95

Tipperary

7.43

8.19

12.58

19.44

Waterford

1.59

9.37

6.01

34.56

Westmeath

1.76

4.74

5.56

11.29

Wexford

4.27

6.45

17.26

32.95

Wicklow

5.39

4.19

4.49

31.26

Cork City

23.68

27.15

19.13

48.14

Dublin City

45.12

66.44

96.25

183.12

Galway City

2.73

0.82

2.45

9.25

In addition to standard construction, turnkeys, rapid delivery mechanisms, etc., local authorities also deliver new build social housing through dedicated regeneration programmes which seek to address the causes of disadvantage in communities through a holistic programme of physical, social and economic regeneration. Total expenditure by local authorities under the National Regeneration Programme over the period 2015 to 2018 is as follows:

2015

2016

2017

2018

Regeneration

 €48.8m

€50.05m

€65.19m

€68.1m

In relation to the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), Limerick City and County Council provides a highly effective HAP transactional shared service on behalf of all local authorities. This HAP Shared Services Centre (SSC) manages all HAP related rental transactions for the tenant, local authority and landlord. Accordingly, my Department does not recoup individual local authorities in respect of HAP rental payments in their administrative areas but rather recoups all landlord cost via the HAP SSC. A breakdown of the number of households supported by HAP in each local authority area is available on my Department’s website at the following link:

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

Total expenditure under HAP for the period 2015 - 2018 is as follows:

-      

   2015  

   2016  

   2017  

   2018  

HAP

 €15.64m

€57.69m

€152.69m

€276.6m

Urban Development

Ceisteanna (667)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

667. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applications by category A and B projects made under the Project Ireland 2040 urban regeneration and development fund to date by county; the number of successful and unsuccessful project applications per category that applied for funding per county; the successful projects per county that have been approved for funding per category; the value of funding approved for each such project; when successful applicants will receive funding in 2019; the amount allocated for the fund in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8303/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) was launched as part of Project Ireland 2040, to support the compact growth and sustainable development of Ireland’s five cities, regional drivers and other large urban centres.

A total of 189 applications were submitted to my Department under the first call for proposals. The full list of applications received by my Department, including details of counties and categories, is available on my Department's website at the following link: www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/urban_regeneration_and_development_fund_2019_-_list_of_applications_received_1.pdf .

There are two types of project: Category A - projects that are 'ready to go' - and Category B - projects which are at an earlier stage (Master-planning/Feasibility) and which will assist in forming a future pipeline of projects, as the URDF is a rolling fund, with €2 billion available to 2027. 

All submissions were assessed following a three stage process and against a 10 point pre-assigned assessment criteria framework. An initial appraisal process on all submissions was carried out within my Department, with preliminary recommendations being made to a Project Advisory Board (PAB) who provided high-level input and advice as applicable per category or proposal. Following this process, preliminary proposals were presented to a management committee who brought the final recommendations to me for consideration. 

On 26 November 2018, I announced details of the successful proposals for funding, details of which are published on my Department's website at the following link:

www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/urdf_-_2019_funding_allocations_0.pdf

Funding of €100 million has been allocated in respect of 88 successful proposals, combining both category A and B projects, of which a significant amount of expenditure will be incurred in 2019. While an initial allocation of €71 million was provided for the URDF as published in the Department’s 2019 Estimate, it was determined, in the context of the accommodation of increased costs of the development of the National Children’s Hospital, that €13 million of drawdown under the URDF could be re-profiled from 2019 to 2020 without any delay in the progression of successful proposals. I am satisfied that the revised allocation of €58 million will be spent in full in respect of URDF grants for 2019.

Successful bid proposals have been approved in principle, subject to final agreement of technical details with my Department, and the funding allocations should be regarded as an initial investment of support for the projects. My Department is currently engaging with successful applicants in respect of the progression of their proposals in 2019. This process will be finalised shortly, following which project conditions and formal grant agreements will be concluded. 

It is expected that a second call for proposals for 2020 funding will be launched later in Q1 2019 and a workshop for applicants will be organised in advance. It is envisaged that this application period will run until summer 2019.

Planning Issues

Ceisteanna (668)

Catherine Martin

Ceist:

668. Deputy Catherine Martin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to introduce legislation which would give local authorities power to address a situation in which a resident's right to light is blocked from neighbouring trees when these trees are on private land; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8316/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I have no plans to develop legislation or guidelines for local authorities in this regard at present. Planning legislation places no specific restrictions on the height of trees or hedges, nor does it make any particular provision for remedy from any other nuisance which may be caused by trees in an urban residential area. However, there is currently a civil remedy available through the Courts concerning branches or roots of neighbouring trees encroaching on a person’s property.

The possibility of providing a broader civil law remedy for parties affected by high trees and hedges on adjoining properties was raised previously with the Minister for Justice and Equality. In this regard, advice was sought on the possibility of legislative provision being made, whereby a person substantially deprived of the enjoyment of their property, such as the deprivation of light caused by high trees on a neighbouring property, could apply to the Courts for an order, and that the Courts could make an order as they see fit, for example, to cut the trees back to an appropriate height.

In response, the Minister for Justice and Equality suggested that disputes of this nature between neighbours could perhaps be more appropriately dealt with through mediation, which is being increasingly used internationally as a tool for the resolution of civil disputes, rather than through the Courts. Legislation subsequently introduced by the Minister for Justice and Equality has been enacted as the Mediation Act 2017.

The Mediation Act, which came into operation on 1 January 2018, contains provisions to underpin a comprehensive statutory framework to promote the resolution of disputes through mediation as an alternative to court proceedings which should ideally be only used as a last resort. In essence, the underlying objective of the Act is to promote mediation as a viable, effective and efficient alternative to court proceedings, thereby reducing legal costs, speeding up the resolution of disputes and reducing the stress and acrimony which often accompanies court proceedings, including those involving adjoining property owners.

Local Authority Members

Ceisteanna (669)

Mary Lou McDonald

Ceist:

669. Deputy Mary Lou McDonald asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his Department has undertaken or overseen an assessment of the tailored training programme for elected members of local authorities announced on the 23 May 2014 as part of the programme of local government reforms announced in 2014. [8328/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The relevant Regulations, which came into operation on 1 June 2014, recognise training for elected members provided by the following bodies:-

- the Association of Irish Local Government;

- the Local Authority Members Association;

- national representative bodies for functions for which local authorities have responsibilities; and

- programmes of education and training which relate to functions for which local authorities have responsibilities and which are validated by the Quality and Qualifications Assurance Authority of Ireland established by the Qualifications and Quality assurance (Education and Training) Act 2012.

Local authorities are also required to adopt a training and development programme for elected members, the objectives of which are to adopt a more structured approach to supporting the development needs of members so that they can discharge their duties as effectively as possible.

I have issued directions to local authorities stating that this training and development programme should have regard, inter alia, to key policy issues facing elected members, the profile and experience of the elected members and the likely resources that will be available to meet training needs.

Local authorities are independent statutory bodies and it is a matter for each local authority to prepare and adopt its own training and development programme for elected members and to assess this as necessary.

Local Authority Services

Ceisteanna (670, 671, 672)

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

670. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the steps he is taking to assist Fingal County Council in completing the taking in charge process of the remaining areas of Ongar village and environs in Dublin 15 (details supplied); and if the taking in charge of public roads and pavements in Ongar village which remain under the nominal control of developers in receivership will be prioritised or enforced. [8330/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

671. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the funding provided to local authorities for the taking in charge of new developments by local authority. [8331/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Róisín Shortall

Ceist:

672. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the way in which local authorities are assisted to minimise the length of time newly created residential areas remain out of the charge of local authorities; and the targets set down in terms of taking in charge new residential areas. [8332/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 670 to 672, inclusive, together.

Residential developments consisting of two or more dwellings that have been granted planning permission under section 34 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended) may be eligible (depending on the grant of planning condition) for taking in charge. The taking in charge of residential estates by local authorities is provided for under section 180 of the 2000 Act and is a reserved function of the elected members.

Under Section 180 (1) of the Act, the planning authority is obliged to initiate taking in charge procedures where requested by either the developer or by the majority of owners of the dwellings. However, this is subject to the development being completed to the satisfaction of the authority and in accordance with the permission and any conditions.

As the Deputy may be aware, section 180 of the Act also provides that in relation to estates which have not have been completed to the satisfaction of the planning authority and enforcement proceedings have not been commenced within the relevant period, the planning authority must, if requested to do so by the majority of the owners of the houses, initiate the procedures set out in section 11 of the Roads Act 1993 for the taking in charge of an estate.

Section 180 was amended through the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 to provide that a planning authority may take in charge an unfinished estate at any time after the expiration of the planning permission in situations where enforcement actions have failed or the planning authority has not taken enforcement action (for example, where it considered such action would be futile). Planning authorities are now specifically empowered to take in charge part of an estate, or some but not all of the facilities in an estate.

Under amendments made to the 2000 Act by the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018, from 22 October 2018, section 180 of the 2000 Act also applies to Strategic Housing Developments, specifically to the houses and associated infrastructure in such developments. Other amendments made under the 2018 Act include that where such development has not been completed to the satisfaction of the planning authority and enforcement proceedings have not been commenced by the planning authority within four years, beginning on the expiration of the appropriate period of the permission (or such period extended under section 42 of the 2000 Act, as amended), the authority shall, where requested by the majority of owners of the houses involved, comply with section 11 of the Roads Act 1993, but the authority shall disregard the financial implications of doing so.

In addition, the authority may at its absolute discretion, at any time after the expiration of the relevant permission authorising the development or where it considers that enforcement proceedings would be futile, initiate the procedures under section 11 of the Roads Act 1993 where requested by a majority of the owners of the houses in question.

My Department launched the National Taking-in-Charge Initiative (NTICI) in April 2016 to trial new approaches and working methods in supporting and accelerating overall national and local action on the taking-in-charge process of housing estates, including estates with developer-provided water services infrastructure (DPI). Under the terms of the NTICI, which was underpinned by €10 million in funding, developments subject to valid taking-in-charge applications were eligible for inclusion in the associated call for funding proposals. Ultimately, €7.5 million of the allocated funding was paid to local authorities in respect of 330 developments, containing some 13,400 homes.

Findings and recommendations from the NTICI process were included in a report on the initiative that was published by my Department in December 2018. The report is available at the following link -

https://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/publications/files/national_taking_in_charge_initiative_report_dec2018.pdf.

The publication of the NTICI report is of value to local authorities and other stakeholders in applying the lessons from the pilot authorities, in a more general roll-out of a streamlined approach to taking-in-charge, including through coordination with capital works by Irish Water.

Ultimately, however, progression of individual developments through the taking-in-charge process is a matter for the relevant housing developer, the residents in such developments and the relevant local authorities, following the procedures laid out in section 180.

The National Development Plan published last year includes provision of €31 million for the period 2018-2021 for developer-provided infrastructure, commencing with an estimates provision of €6 million in 2019. The multi-annual programme will be initiated through the invitation of project bids from local authorities followed by their evaluation by an Expert Panel, set up by my Department, to independently evaluate the bid projects and make recommendations to my Department on suitable projects to be approved for funding. It is expected that approval of projects for this first cycle multi-annual programme will take place later in Q1 2019.

Homeless Persons Data

Ceisteanna (673)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

673. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when he plans to publish the annual local authority homelessness financial reports for 2018. [8340/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department does not provide funding for services directly but provides funding to housing authorities towards operational costs for homeless accommodation and related services.  Under 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 arrangement with my Department. 

Exchequer funding for homeless services is provided through my Department to housing authorities on a regional basis. The following table sets out the Exchequer funding recouped to housing authorities in 2018.

Exchequer funding for homeless services in 2018 under the Housing Act, 1988 

Region

Amount

Dublin   

€106,267,187

Mid-East   

€3,738,000

Midlands   

€2,177,128

Mid-West   

€5,044,000

North-East 

€3,007,520

North-West   

€541,522

South-East  

€3,815,000

South-West   

€9,687,741

West

€4,721,895

Financial reports setting out expenditure on homeless services on a regional basis are published on my Department's website at the following link; http://www.housing.gov.ie/node/5498. The financial reports for each of the regions for 2018 will be published on my Department's website following the submission of the reports from the regional lead authorities.

Traveller Accommodation

Ceisteanna (674)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

674. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the Traveller accommodation allocations for each local authority for 2018; and the drawdown to date for each local authority in tabular form. [8361/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

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. 

Housing 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 programme generally. There is regular contact between my Department and housing authorities in order to try to ensure maximum progress and drawdown. If it becomes clear that allocations or part thereof may be unspent, then those allocations will be diverted to alternative projects and developments. 

The amount of funding allocated and drawn down by housing authorities for Traveller-specific accommodation for 2018 is set out in the following table.

County Council

Allocation 2018

Drawdown 2018

Carlow

€167,740.00

 €        -   

Cavan

€30,000.00

 €        -   

Clare

€853,250.00

€13,250.00

Cork

€251,197.00

 €        -   

Donegal

€121,800.00

€52,775.00

South Dublin

€869,642.50

€1,284,100.77

Fingal

€851,189.00

€886,957.00

Dun Laoghaire / Rathdown

€673,685.78

€1,099,940.28

Galway

€1,080,100.00

€267,031.72

Kerry

€15,350.00

€62,538.47

Kildare

€80,000.00

€29,510.00

Kilkenny

€201,682.00

€60,066.99

Laois

€30,000.00

 €        -   

Leitrim

€159,614.00

€54,306.00

Limerick

 ** 

 ** 

Longford

€2,922.00

 €        -   

Louth

€17,039.00

€3,810.00

Mayo

€30,000.00

 €        -   

Meath

€65,000.00

 €        -   

Monaghan

€400,000.00

€54,744.85

North Tipperary

 ** 

 ** 

Offaly

€49,379.00

€10,998.97

Roscommon

€230,000.00

€102,273.72

Sligo

€1,046,095.00

€282,882.59

South Tipperary

 ** 

 ** 

Tipperary

€25,655.00

€42,002.50

Waterford

 ** 

 ** 

Westmeath

€150,000.00

 €        -   

Wexford

€498,801.00

 €        -   

Wicklow

€209,620.00

€88,783.09

City Council

 

 

Cork

€310,000.00

€180,250.00

Dublin

€1,321,558.39

€744,400.22

Galway

€176,996.00

 €        -   

Limerick

€858,739.00

€470,997.25

Waterford

€317,280.00

€472,725.66

Reserve

€905,665.33

 

TOTAL

€12,000,000

€6,264,345

Social and Affordable Housing Data

Ceisteanna (675)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

675. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of the 2,610 social housing acquisitions in 2018 that were purchased vacant; and the number purchased with social housing tenants in situ. [8362/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department does not hold information in relation to the status of occupation of a property that is acquired for social housing.

In general, properties that are acquired by local authorities or Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are vacant. However, should a property that is occupied by a social housing tenant in the private rented sector become available on the market, it is open to a local authority or an AHB to acquire the property once the acquisition falls within the financial terms of the relevant acquisition scheme.

Social and Affordable Housing Data

Ceisteanna (676)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

676. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of the 560 voids included in the 2018 social housing output figures, which were vacant for more than six months. [8363/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Homes refurbished under the Voids programme are not classified by the length of time they are vacant and my Department does not collect data in that regard. The programme is designed to support the bringing back into use of units that would likely remain vacant for a significant period of time because the cost of the scale of works required could not be met by the local authority. It is a matter for each local authority to determine suitable properties for inclusion in the programmes.

Housing Assistance Payment Data

Ceisteanna (677)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

677. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the value and number of housing assistance payment, HAP, payments made in each of the years 2016 to 2018, by county in tabular form. [8369/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Expenditure details in respect of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme for the period 2016 to 2018, are set out in the following table. Limerick City and County Council provides a HAP transactional shared service on behalf of all local authorities. This HAP Shared Services Centre (SSC) manages all HAP related rental transactions for the tenant, local authority and landlord. Accordingly, my Department does not recoup individual local authorities in respect of HAP rental payments in their administrative areas but rather recoups landlord costs via the HAP SSC.

Year

Additional Households supported at end of year

Outturn (€M)

2016

12,075

€57.69m

2017

17,916

€152.69m

2018

13,741 (end Q3 2018)

€276.6m (full year)

At the end of Q3 2018, there were 40,837 active tenancies being supported under the HAP scheme in 31 local authority areas.

A breakdown of the number of households supported by HAP in each local authority area is available on my Department’s website at the following link:

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

Housing Adaptation Grant Data

Ceisteanna (678)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

678. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount each local authority returned unspent in housing adaptation grants, housing aid for the elderly and mobility grants by county in tabular form. [8370/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department provides funding under the suite of Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, to assist people in private houses to make their accommodation more suitable for their needs.  

The suite of grants includes the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability, the Mobility Aids Grant and the Housing Aid for Older People, which are 80% funded by my Department, with a 20% contribution from the resources of the local authority. Local authorities receive an overall allocation, with the responsibility for the apportionment between the three schemes being a matter for each authority.

The amount spent by each local authority can vary from year to year as it is demand driven and also reliant on factors such as the availability of contractors and the agreement of clients on the timing of works. Over the course of the year, my Department works closely with the local authorities to monitor spend and to achieve a full drawdown of the available funding. This allows any underspends to be redistributed to local authorities with high levels of grant activity who seek additional funding.  

The amount allocated and drawn down by each local authority for 2018 is set out in the following table:

Local Authority

2018 Allocation (80% Exchequer funding)

Total Drawdown

Carlow

€1,247,317

 €1,547,564

Cavan

€1,166,371

 €1,317,748

Clare

€1,713,277

 €2,418,330

Cork County

€4,493,924

 €3,357,994

Cork City

€1,401,645

€844,875

Donegal

€948,886

€985,808

Dublin City

€6,021,427

€6,876,144

DL/Rathdown

€1,634,669

 €789,408

Fingal

€2,380,985

 €1,917,099

Galway City

€880,299

€1,031,061

Galway Co

€1,887,048

 €1,879,152

Kerry

€1,849,603

€2,176,206

Kildare

€2,409,776

 €2,410,240

Kilkenny

€1,495,704

 €1,351,884

Laois

€888,104

 €795,664

Leitrim

€391,994

 €202,020

Limerick

€2,595,051

 €2,405,573 

Longford

€635,936

 €706,057

Louth

€1,198,454

 €1,151,752

Mayo

€2,488,973

 €1,489,723

Meath

€1,628,559

 €1,852,738 

Monaghan

€989,940

 €1,515,110 

Offaly

€962,407

 €1,160,555

Roscommon

€831,647

 €761,397

Sligo

€1,094,027

 €1,279,660

South Dublin

€1,734,920

 €1,398,238

Tipperary

€2,504,130

 €2,923,976

Waterford

€1,566,016

 €911,696

Westmeath

€997,888

 €1,186,162

Wexford

€1,732,021

 €1,808,956

Wicklow

€1,229,002

 €792,185

Local Authority Housing Data

Ceisteanna (679)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

679. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of houses bought previously occupied, bought under a turnkey development or constructed in each of the years 2016 to 2018, by county in tabular form. [8371/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Statistical information in relation to social housing delivery, including across build, acquisition and leasing delivery mechanisms is broken down on a local authority basis and is published on my Department's website at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/node/6338 .

A more detailed breakdown of build activity on a local authority basis,  including turnkey delivery, is set out in the Social Housing Construction Status Report (CSR), which is published on a quarterly basis on the Rebuilding Ireland website. The CSR to the end of Quarter 3 2018 is available at the following link:

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

The Quarter 4 2018 CSR will be available shortly.

Housing Adaptation Grant Eligibility

Ceisteanna (680)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

680. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if there is leeway on the income thresholds for housing adaptation grants under exceptional circumstances. [8372/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The detailed administration of the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, including the assessment, approval and payment of individual grants to applicants, is the responsibility of the relevant local authority.

Local authorities will always work with qualifying applicants to ensure they get the most beneficial result in line with their financial circumstances. A household means test applies to the scheme in order to achieve fairness and value for money in its operation. This process must adhere to the income thresholds set down by the regulations, so that the funding is focused on those households who need it most.

Local Authority Housing Provision

Ceisteanna (681)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

681. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the timeframe for approval in cases in which a local authority submits approval for turnkey development; and the funding options for same. [8373/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Local authorities have been making productive use of turnkey development opportunities to achieve delivery of new social housing, as part of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan. In many cases, the developments being supported through these turnkey arrangements would not go ahead without the certainty of the end purchaser and they are particularly beneficial where local authorities have limited or no lands available for housing in an area.

The approval process generally involves one stage, where the local authority provides a capital appraisal to my Department, setting out the details of the proposed turnkey development, to include inter alia, information on the local housing need, suitability of the housing to meet these needs, proximity of local services and cost/value-for-money. The time involved in the approval of such proposals will always depend on the quality of the information provided and key aspects such as costs, but would ordinarily be around 4 weeks.   

My Department funds such projects in full and payment is ordinarily made on completion and delivery of the development in a 'turnkey' condition. If a 10% deposit is advanced, my Department will provide this funding to the local authority. Some turnkey projects are also completed on a phased basis, which allows for payment to be made to the developer on completion of each individual phase.

Local Authority Housing Data

Ceisteanna (682)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

682. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of housing assistance payment, HAP, rental accommodation scheme, RAS, and social housing current expenditure programme, SHCEP, tenancies at the end of 2018; and the cost per scheme in that year in tabular form. [8374/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) was established in 2005 and requires local authorities to meet the accommodation needs of people that are in receipt of Rent Supplement for 18 months or longer, and who are assessed as having a long-term housing need. As reflected in the following table, at the end of 2018, local authorities reported that there were 18,915 RAS tenancies in place, with total expenditure for the scheme in 2018 of just under €143.34 million.

Year     

RAS contracts supported at end of year     

Expenditure  

2018

18,915

€143.34m

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.  Properties made available under SHCEP are used to accommodate households from local authority waiting lists. The number of properties supported through SHCEP at end 2018 was 11,684 and the total SHCEP spend in 2018 was €100.4 million. 

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Scheme is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. The details requested in respect of HAP for 2018 are set out in the following table:

Year        

Total Households supported by HAP (at end Q3 2018)  

Outturn

(full year)

2018

43,443

€276.6m  

Local Authority Housing Maintenance

Ceisteanna (683)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

683. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if housing service plans (details supplied) have been agreed; and if not, the timeframe for the compiling of the plans by each local authority. [8385/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The statutory position regarding Housing Services Plans is set out in sections 14 -18 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. These provisions have not yet been commenced.

Section 14 requires that each housing authority make a Housing Services Plan setting out the objectives, which the housing authority considers to be reasonable and necessary for the provision of housing services having regard to the requirements of the housing strategy or strategies relating to housing supports for its administrative area.

Housing Services are defined as, among other things:

- social housing support;

- affordable housing;

- the granting of shared ownership leases under section 3 of the Act of 1992;

- the sale, or consent to the sale, of a dwelling under section 90(1)(b) of the Principal Act to a person other than another housing authority;

- loans made under section 11 of the Act of 1992 or section 25(1) of the Housing (Traveller accommodation) Act 1998;

- grants for works of improvement or adaptation to houses under section 5 of the Act of 1992;

- grants and other assistance for the provision of new houses or improvement works to houses under section 6 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1979;

- services provided to homeless persons under section 10 of the Act of 1988;

- the provision of sites under section 57 of the Principal Act; and

- the management, maintenance and refurbishment of any dwelling, building or land of which the housing authority is the owner or which is under its management and control.

The provisions allow for the making of a Housing Services Plan in draft form first, its circulation to the Minister and other bodies (including Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) and the HSE) for comments, the preparation of a report for the elected members by the Chief Executive and the adoption of the Plan by the members, with or without modification.

The main priority in recent years has been to deliver on the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, and it has not been necessary to commence the provisions of the 2009 Act referred to in order to achieve the delivery of the associated significantly increased and enhanced housing services by local authorities and AHBs. This is demonstrated by the level of social housing delivery achieved in 2018, exceeding the national target for the year by 6%.

Under section 94 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, each planning authority is required to include a housing strategy in its Development Plan, for the purpose of ensuring that the proper planning and sustainable development of the area provides for the housing of the existing and future population of the area in the manner set out in the strategy. All authorities have complied with this requirement.

A housing strategy takes into account a number of matters including:

- the existing need and the likely future need for social and affordable housing,

- the need to ensure that housing is available for persons who have different levels of income,

- the need to ensure that a mixture of house types and sizes is developed to reasonably match the requirements of the different categories of households, including the special requirements of elderly persons and persons with disabilities, and

- the need to counteract undue segregation in housing between persons of different social backgrounds.

It is also required to include an estimate of the amount of social and affordable housing required in the area of the development plan during the period of the plan.

Local Authority Housing Maintenance

Ceisteanna (684, 685, 686, 687, 689)

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

684. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if local authorities have drawn up a plan for refurbishing their housing stock (details supplied); if the reports will be provided; and if plans have not been drawn up, the timeframe for the completion of same. [8386/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

685. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if housing conditions (details supplied) have been resolved; and if a report confirming same will be provided. [8387/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

686. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a progress report on each of the regeneration programmes (details supplied) will be provided; the number of tenants that have benefitted from the regeneration programmes; and the number that remain in council accommodation awaiting regeneration. [8388/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

687. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the steps that have been taken by local authorities to assess the adequacy and condition of local authority housing (details supplied); and the enforcement actions taken against local authorities in relation to housing standards and conditions. [8389/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aengus Ó Snodaigh

Ceist:

689. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a survey of the condition of housing stock has been completed by local authorities; if the report of same will be provided; and the further action taken to address the issues of concern raised in the decision by the European Committee of Social Rights (details supplied). [8391/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 684 to 687, inclusive, and 689 together.

Local authorities are responsible, in the first instance, for the management and maintenance of their own housing stock under the Housing Acts, including responsive and planned maintenance and the identification of housing in need of upgrade, regeneration or adaptation. My Department provides exchequer support to the local authorities across a number of programmes to support their work to maintain and improve their social housing stock but, in all cases, it is the local authorities that identify priority works.

The funding support from my Department to the local authorities to improve their social housing stock includes significant commitments under regeneration and energy retrofitting. Under the regeneration programme, local authorities are making significant progress in the advancement of major programmes in areas including Dolphin House and St Teresa’s Gardens in Dublin, as well as in Limerick and Cork cities and a number of other areas. In Dolphin House, where complaints had arisen previously regarding some housing conditions, 2018 saw the full refurbishment of 63 of the existing apartments alongside the construction of 37 newly built social homes for the residents of the area, with over €25 million in investment. The regeneration programme there will continue into 2019 and beyond.

The energy retrofitting programme has seen over 68,000 social houses and apartments being retrofitted to date, through some €128m of investment. The programme aims to improve energy efficiency and comfort levels and address issues around fuel poverty. These investments to improve the housing stock, with exchequer support, are additional to ongoing work and investment by the local authorities themselves.

I understand that stock condition surveys are now either completed, underway or in planning in a number of local authority areas, including Dublin City. The extent to which the refurbishment or upgrade to social housing is required, and the plans of local authorities to address this, will depend on the findings of the individual stock conditions surveys as they are completed. Some stock may require little or no upgrading and responsive maintenance will continue to be provided by all local authorities, as has been the case to date to address housing issues as they arise in the authorities’ social housing stock.

The very significant investment currently being made in regeneration projects such as Dolphin House, which was specifically referenced in the complaint regarding social housing conditions in Ireland made to the European Committee of Social Rights, is a key element of the Irish Government’s commitment to these issues. Equally, the continued work of local authorities in undertaking stock condition surveys and both responsive and planned maintenance programmes, as well as important programmes such as the Energy Retrofitting programme, also address the issues of concern raised with the European Committee of Social Rights.