Working Family Payment Payments

Ceisteanna (214)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

214. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of a payment in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11307/19]

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. In order to qualify for WFP an applicant must be engaged in

full-time paid employment as an employee for not less than 38 hours per fortnight.  

Working Family Payment for the person concerned is due for renewal from 6 March 2019. An application for Working Family Payment was received on 16 January 2019. The application was processed and awarded on 28 February 2019 and the person concerned was notified of the award decision.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Illness Benefit Payments

Ceisteanna (215)

Brendan Howlin

Ceist:

215. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a payment for an application for an illness benefit by a person (details supplied) was not made; when a payment regarding the claim will be made; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11345/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

The Illness Benefit claim from the person concerned is currently paid and medically certified as unfit for work up to the 1st March 2019.

If the person concerned remains ill and unfit for work, a further medical certificate should be submitted to the Department as soon as possible in order for further payments to issue.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.

Community Employment Schemes Supervisors

Ceisteanna (216)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

216. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the status of pensions with regard to community employment supervisors following the strike on 18 February 2019; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11364/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I am acutely aware of the valuable and dedicated service that Community Employment, CE, sponsor organisations provide in running CE Schemes all over the country.  CE supervisors, as employees of these organisations, are an integral part of that good work.

  However, it is important to emphasise the fact that CE scheme supervisors are employees of private companies in the community and voluntary sector that receive public funding.  They are not employees of my Department or public servants, and as such were not subject to pay reductions, pension contributions or the Pension-related Deduction, PRD, under the provisions of the Financial Emergency Measures in the Public Interest, FEMPI, which only applied to public servants.

  The State is not responsible for funding pension arrangements for employees of private companies, even where the companies in question are reliant on State funding.  Pension arrangements are a matter to be agreed between employees and their employers.  All employers, including CE sponsoring organisations, are legally obliged to offer access to at least one Standard Personal Retirement Savings Account, PRSA, under the Pension (Amendment) Act 2002. 

  The issue was examined by a Community Sector High Level Forum, chaired by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.  A number of Departments including my own Department were represented on this group, as were the unions and Pobal.

  Exchequer funded pension entitlements for CE supervisors presents very significant issues for the Exchequer.  These supervisors comprise just one small group within the wider Community and Voluntary sector.  Nevertheless, on foot of the Labour Court recommendation, a detailed scoping exercise was carried out with input from the Irish Government Economic and Evaluation Service, IGEES, on the potential costs of providing Exchequer support for the establishment of such a pension scheme for employees across the Community and Voluntary sector in Ireland.  This exercise estimated a potential cost to the State of between €188 million per annum and €347 million depending on the numbers involved, which is hard to establish. This excludes any provision for immediate ex-gratia lump sum payment of pension as sought, which could entail a further Exchequer cost of up to €318 million.

CE supervisors may qualify for the State Pension (Contributory) if they have accrued sufficient PRSI contributions. The State Pension (Contributory) is not means-tested.  This pension has a maximum personal rate payable of €12,695 per annum, increasing to €12,956 in March 2019.

The entitlement to an occupational pension is not a matter for this Department. It would therefore be proper for the Deputy to raise this matter with my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.

Social and Affordable Housing Data

Ceisteanna (217)

John McGuinness

Ceist:

217. Deputy John McGuinness asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number and location of affordable housing schemes by county; the number of houses that have planning permission; the number in the planning process, that is, permission has been applied for; the number and location of schemes of houses at a pre-planning stage; the number of design teams appointed to design affordable houses; the number of schemes in which local authorities have entered into contracts for the provision of the houses; the price that will be charged for the houses; the location in which the €310 million infrastructure development funds will be spent by county; and the number of affordable houses he expects to deliver on a quarterly basis in 2019. [11398/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 provides a new statutory basis for the delivery of affordable housing for purchase. The Act itself contains significant detail on the new arrangements, reducing the extent to which regulations are required. Insofar as regulations are necessary, the most immediate requirement is for regulations dealing with the making of schemes of priority by local authorities. I will be signing regulations which will deal with that issue shortly, which will allow local authorities to finalise their schemes of priorities by June, as required. Further regulations and detailed guidance will issue to local authorities in the coming weeks.

The new affordable housing scheme will be targeted towards low to middle income first time buyer households. In terms of the priority areas for operation of the scheme, this will be influenced by the economic assessments which local authorities were asked to carry out in relation to the affordability issues in their areas.

The affordable housing scheme will be open to applications according as projects are delivered.  In that regard, significant delivery is to be achieved through the €310 million Serviced Site Fund, under which at least 6,200 affordable homes are to be supported over the next three years. An initial ten projects have been approved for €43 million of funding under the SSF’s first call for proposals, which are detailed in the following table:

Local Authority

Project/ Location

Total provisional cost of proposal

Provisional Exchequer grant amount

Provisional local authority contribution

Affordable housing potential

Cork County

Glanmire

€1,500,000

€1,335,000

€165,000

20

Cork City

Boherboy Road

€4,968,366

€4,421,846

€546,520

103

Cork City

Kilmore Road, Churchfield

€1,410,551

€1,255,390

€155,160

21

Dublin City

Cherry Orchard

€7,645,415

€6,804,419

€840,996

183

Dublin City

Balbutcher, Ballymun

€4,135,351

€3,680,462

€454,889

74

Dublin City

Sillogue, Ballymun

€3,975,000

€3,537,750

€437,250

83

DLR

Enniskerry   Road

€4,537,576

€4,038,443

€499,133

50

Fingal

Church Fields, Mulhuddart

€11,000,000

€9,790,000

€1,210,000

753

Fingal

Dun Emer, Lusk

€1,500,000

€1,335,000

€165,000

74

Fingal

Hackettstown, Skerries

€2,198,667

€1,956,814

€241,853

49

Total

 

€42,870,926

€38,155,124

€4,715,801

1410

A second call under the SSF will issue shortly.  It is expected that the first tranche of affordable homes will be delivered next year.

In addition, some 2,350 affordable homes will be delivered on mainly publicly owned lands being supported through the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund, while 5,600 further homes will benefit from a LIHAF-related cost reduction.  The work of the Land Development Agency will also be of crucial importance in terms of delivering more affordable housing; the initial portfolio of sites that the Agency has access to will have the potential, over the short to medium term, to deliver 3,000 affordable homes in line with the Government policy of achieving 30% affordable housing on State lands generally.

In parallel with this, the Dublin local authorities continue to progress a number of other significant housing projects on publicly owned lands, including the redevelopment of O'Devaney Gardens and a site at Oscar Traynor Road in Dublin city, yielding some 250 affordable homes, and 380 cost rental homes to be delivered between projects at the former St. Michael's Estate in Inchicore and at Enniskerry Road in Dun Laoghaire Rathdown.  The timing of delivery under these projects is contingent on the completion of planning and procurement in the first instance, but the local authorities are working to achieve delivery as quickly as possible.

Ministerial Correspondence

Ceisteanna (218)

John Brady

Ceist:

218. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a reply will issue to correspondence sent to him via email dated 24 January 2019 regarding emergency accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11412/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. While responsibility for the provision of accommodation for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities, the administration of homeless services is organised on a regional basis.  In this regard, Wicklow County Council is included in the Mid-East Region along with Kildare County Council and Meath County Council.  A Homelessness Consultative Forum exists for each region and it is the role of the Management Group of each of these fora to consider the organisation of homeless services in the region within the funding available. 

In relation to your correspondence, my Department has contacted Wicklow County Council on the matter, on foot of which a response has issued to you.

Housing Adaptation Grant

Ceisteanna (219)

Peter Burke

Ceist:

219. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his Department or local authorities administer grant funding to families who need significant upgrades to their homes to accommodate children with profound physical disabilities that would not pass a means test; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11416/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The only funding of this nature through my Department, for private houses, is through the Housing Adaptations for Older People and People with a Disability schemes. The legislative basis for the funding requires the application of a means test to determine eligibility and to help identify those households facing the greatest challenge in meeting their accommodation needs from their own resources.  

The Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability is available to assist in the carrying out of works for eligible households, which are reasonably necessary for the purposes of rendering a private house more suitable for the accommodation of a person with a disability including those who have enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairments.  The detailed administration of the grants, including the assessment, approval and prioritisation of grants to applicants under the various measures, is the responsibility of the relevant local authority.

Social and Affordable Housing Funding

Ceisteanna (220)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

220. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Questions Nos. 272 and 273 of 7 February 2019, if the reference to the capital advanced loan facility and or payment and availability agreement is the same scheme as the capital advance leasing facility scheme; if funding made available under the social housing current expenditure programme is for developments that result in 100% of housing units made available to social housing for those on local authority waiting lists; and the number of units built by approved housing bodies which are in developments built with some assistance from State funding streams which are not available for social housing, that is, the number of units built under CAS and CLSS which are rented out by the body on criteria other than the tenants coming from the local authority waiting lists. [11421/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The reply to Questions Nos. 272 and 273 refers only to the Capital Advance Leasing Facility (CALF).  There is no Capital Advance Loan Facility, although the CALF scheme has sometimes been referred to in such terms.  P&A agreements are signed in respect of all homes funded under CALF.

All homes funded under the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP) must be made available to households that have qualified for social housing support and local authorities have full 100% nomination rights in respect of same.

In respect of the CAS and CLSS schemes, as responsibility for the administration and oversight of both these schemes at local level rests with the local authorities, my Department would not have details of the number of units rented out on criteria other than the tenants coming from the local authority waiting lists.

Feabhsú Céibheanna

Ceisteanna (221)

Éamon Ó Cuív

Ceist:

221. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív den Aire Cultúir, Oidhreachta agus Gaeltachta cén dul chun cinn atá déanta le trí bliana anuas maidir le forbairt na céibhe in Inis Meáin; cén maoiniú atá ar fáil don togra seo; cén obair atá i gceist leis an gcéad chéim eile d’fhorbairt na céibhe; cén uair a bhfuiltear ag súil go mbeifear in ann conradh a bhronnadh don obair seo; agus an ndéanfaidh sí ráiteas ina thaobh. [11363/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

Már léiriú ar dháiríreacht an Rialtais seo maidir le forbairt na n-oileán tá athbheochan déanta ar an togra chun  Céim III de Ché an Chalaidh Mhóir a fhorbairt le tamall anuas.  Anuas ar sin, tá an fhorbairt mar cheann de na tograí oileáin atá luaite sa Phlean Forbartha Náisiúnta 2018 - 2027.

Bíonn cruinnithe rialta idir oifigigh mo Roinne agus Comhairle Chontae na Gaillimhe ag a bpléitear forbairt Ché an Chalaidh Mhóir agus tá na féidearthachtaí maidir lena forbairt pléite le coiste na cé in Inis Meáin ar roinnt ócáidí chomh maith.

Beidh gá ag an bpointe ama seo innealtóirí comhairleacha a cheapadh chun na ceadúnais éagsúla a lorg, an dearadh a dhéanamh agus an próiseas tairisceana a láimhseáil.  Tá beartaithe comhlacht le saineolas muirí a fhostú chuige sin sa tréimhse atá romhainn.  

Déanfar cinneadh críochnúil faoi scóip na forbartha amach anseo i gcomhthéacs na n-acmhainí airgeadais a bheidh ar fáil do mo Roinn sna blianta amach romhainn agus na n-éileamh éagsúla ar na hacmhainí sin.

Departmental Schemes

Ceisteanna (222)

Dara Calleary

Ceist:

222. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the current and capital funding allocation in 2019 to schemes and programmes (details supplied); and the level of funding that previously existed when operational in tabular form. [11459/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

As the Deputy is no doubt aware the Gaeltacht Housing Grant Schemes have been suspended for some time now and that others listed by him have been subsumed into schemes currently operated by my Department.  An Comhairle um Oideachas Gaeltachta agus Gaelscolaíochta (COGG) is funded from the Department of Education and Skills' Vote.

In the interest of accuracy, the following table details the Revised Estimates Volume 2009, which is the last estimate to include the schemes listed by the Deputy, with the exception of COGG, before they were either suspended or subsumed into other schemes.

GAELTACHT AND ISLANDS DEVELOPMENT

2008 Provisional Outturn 

2009 Estimate

 

 

Current

€000  

Capital

€000  

Total    

€000

  

Current

€000  

Capital

€000  

Total    

€000

 

E.1

Gaeltacht Housing - Grants Under

The   Housing (Gaeltacht) Acts 1929 to 2001

-

5,000

5,000

-

2,950

2,950

E.2

Gaeltacht   Cultural and Social Schemes

12,664

-

12,644

8,900

-

8,900

E.3

Gaeltacht   Community and Recreational Facilities

-

4,867

4,867

-

4,800

4,800

E.4

Gaeltacht   Improvement Schemes

-

6,633

6,633

-

4,200

4,200

The 2019 funding allocation for this programme, as it currently exists, has been included in the following table.

FUNDING ALLOCATION 2019

Scheme/Programme

Current                          

€000

Capital                          

€000

Total                         

€000

Irish Language Support Schemes (Non-Gaeltacht)

4,650

682

5,332

Language Planning

3,200

-

3,200

Islands 

7,064

1,644

8,708

Community and   Language Supports Programme

7,370

2,322

9,692