Homeless Persons Supports

Ceisteanna (361)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

361. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the rationale behind basing officers from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service in offices of a homeless agency in Dublin further to a media report on 3 March 2019 (details supplied); and the role these officers will undertake in this location daily. [12564/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

During 2018, I received reports from the Homelessness Inter-Agency Group and the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) that identified the challenges of non-Irish nationals presenting to homeless services. The report of the Inter-Agency group recommended the Department of Justice and Equality and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government should develop an agreed policy, including a communications protocol, on the services to be provided to individuals who may have no rights to reside in the State. It also recommended that a communications protocol should be put in place between the Department of Justice and Equality and the local authorities in relation to potential housing demands arising from family reunification applications being processed by that Department.

As part of the implementation of these recommendations, the Department of Justice and Equality will locate a staff member in the DRHE on a pilot basis to assist with evaluating the immigration status of persons presenting to homeless services. It should be noted that many non-Irish nationals presenting to homeless services will be entitled to housing supports and improved communications will reduce the time frequently involved in clarifying the entitlement of these individuals.

Home Loan Scheme

Ceisteanna (362)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

362. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applications to Louth County Council for the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme in each month from January 2018 to January 2019, in tabular form. [12565/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department publishes information on the overall number and value of (i) local authority loan approvals and (ii) local authority loan drawdowns. Information up to the end of Quarter 3 2018, including in relation to number and value of mortgage drawdowns, is available on the Department's website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/house-prices-loans-and-profile-borrowers/local-authority-loan-activity.

In addition, the Housing Agency provides a central support service which assesses loan applications that are made to the local authorities and makes recommendations to the authorities as to whether loans should be offered to applicants. Last year I asked the Agency to centrally compile figures on the numbers of applications that it has assessed and recommended for approval. Figures for individual local authorities on a month-by-month basis are available from September 2018 onwards, with the most recent data available as of the end of February 2019. The relevant data for Louth are set out in the following table:

Month

Applications Assessed (Cumulative)

Applications Recommended to Approve (Cumulative)

September

50

19

October

58

22

November

67

29

December

67

31

January

81

34

February

89

37

Wind Energy Guidelines

Ceisteanna (363)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

363. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the new regulations relating to wind planning guidelines will come into effect; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12601/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department is currently undertaking a focused review of the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines. The review is addressing a number of key aspects including sound or noise, visual amenity setback distances, shadow flicker, community obligation, community dividend and grid connections.

As part of the overall review, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is being undertaken on the revised Guidelines before they come into effect, in accordance with the requirements of EU Directive 2001/24/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment, otherwise known as the SEA Directive.

SEA is a process by which environmental considerations are required to be fully integrated into the preparation of plans and programmes which act as frameworks for development consent, prior to their final adoption, with public consultation as part of that process. My Department appointed SEA experts in December 2017 to assist in this regard. The recent publication of updated WHO noise standards had resulted in a delay in finalising the revised draft Guidelines. These revised draft guidelines were to be published in Quarter 1 2019. However, there have now been some delays to the planned schedule, due to the need to focus on certain Brexit-related planning issues. As part of the SEA process, there will be an 8 week public consultation on the revised draft Guidelines, together with the comprehensive environmental report with the aim of issuing the finalised Guidelines, following detailed analysis and consideration of the submissions and views received during the consultation phase, later in 2019.

When finalised, the revised Guidelines will be issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended. Planning authorities and, where applicable, An Bord Pleanála must have regard to guidelines issued under Section 28 in the performance of their functions generally under the Planning Acts. In the meantime, the current 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines remain in force.

Rental Sector Strategy

Ceisteanna (364)

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

364. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when guidelines will issue to local authorities regarding the proposed new regulations on a company (details supplied); if planning permission will be required in areas not considered under housing pressure; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12608/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under Action 18 of the Strategy for the Rental Sector, a Working Group was established, involving representatives of all major public stakeholders with a policy interest in short-term lettings, to develop guidance in relation to planning applications, changes of use relating to short-term lettings and to examine the need for new regulatory arrangements. Proposals under consideration by the Working Group have been aimed at facilitating short-term letting of accommodation within permanent residences, known as homesharing, while protecting the existing stock of residential property in areas of high demand.

Having considered the Working Group's report as well as the recommendations in the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government on short-term lettings, I announced plans to introduce a “one host, one home” model in areas where there is high housing demand.

Under the proposed new arrangements, homesharing will continue to be permissible for a person’s primary residence. In addition, an annual cap of 90 days will apply for the renting out on a short-term basis of a person's entire home where it is their primary residence, with such short-term lets being restricted to periods of 14 days or less at a time. Under these arrangements, people who wish to avail of the proposed new planning exemptions to use their own home for home-sharing or limited short-term letting purposes will be required to register this with their local planning authority.

Where a person owns a second property and intends to let it for short-term letting purposes, they will require planning permission to do so unless the property already has planning permission to be used for tourism or short-term letting purposes. Planning permission for a change of use to short-term letting can be sought and it will be up to each local planning authority to consider such applications, based on guidance that will issue from my Department, taking account of housing demand pressures in the area concerned and other relevant factors such as cumulative impacts.

It is important to note that these proposed changes will not affect the operation of holiday homes as typically understood, or longer-term flexible lettings which are provided for those coming to Ireland under employment contracts.

It is intended that the proposed new planning changes will come into effect on 1 June 2019. In addition to making revised exempted development planning regulations, which are being progressed, amendments to primary legislation will also be introduced which will underpin and strengthen the new proposals. This element of the changes proposed is currently being developed and details will be published in due course.

Wildlife Control

Ceisteanna (365)

Eugene Murphy

Ceist:

365. Deputy Eugene Murphy asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of licences issued by the NPWS to cull badgers in counties Roscommon and Galway in 2017 and 2018, in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12454/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

My Department issues licences to the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine under Section 23 of the Wildlife Acts 1976 - 2018 to take, capture and release for vaccination purposes or to capture and humanely kill badgers.

While each such licences can operate for periods other than one calendar year and may cover areas other than on a county basis, it can be said that in both 2017 and 2018 a licence under section 23 was in operation in respect of Counties Roscommon and Galway.

While the individual licences issued by my Department do not specify the number of badgers that may be culled, in each area, it is understood that details in this regard are available from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

Departmental Funding

Ceisteanna (366, 367)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

366. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding her Department or agencies under the remit of her Department have provided to projects in County Galway in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, respectively; if the funding has been allocated; if it has been drawn down in each case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12506/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

367. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the funding that her Department or agencies under the remit of her Department have provided to projects in County Roscommon in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, respectively; if the funding has been allocated; if it has been drawn down in each case; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [12523/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 366 and 367 together.

Details of the annual funding allocation to my Department at subhead level are published in the annual Revised Estimates Volume. Through these subheads, my Department administers and delivers a wide range of programmes and measures, descriptions of which are available on its website at http://www.chg.gov.ie/.

Expenditure under these programme areas is recorded and accounted for on a national basis and it is not possible to give a regional or county-by-county breakdown of that expenditure. For example, a number of my Department’s programmes are delivered through agencies and other intermediary bodies that operate across county boundaries and in respect of which there is no detailed breakdown on a county basis held by my Department. Groups and organisations that receive grants directly from my Department are not typically constituted on a single-county basis.

In view of this and because of the wide range of my Department’s schemes and programmes, and the large volumes of payments and grants involved, it is not possible to provide the information sought. However, if the Deputy has specific queries relating to a particular programme or grant, I will endeavour to provide him with relevant information in that regard.

State Bodies Data

Ceisteanna (368)

Willie Penrose

Ceist:

368. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht the number of vacancies in each State board under the remit of her Department in tabular form; the length of time each position has been vacant; and the reason for the failure to fill the vacancy in each case. [12692/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Culture)

The following table gives details of current vacancies on the State boards under the remit of my Department.

State Board

Number of Places on Board

CurrentVacancies

Current Status

Arts Council

13

4 vacancies -3 Board Member vacancies since 28/01/2019.1 Chair Vacancy since 24/02/2019

An expression of Interest is currently being sought by the Public Appointments Service. (closing date 29/03/2019)

Crawford Art Gallery

12

2 vacancies -1 Board Member vacancy since 16/05/2017.1 Board Member vacancy since 12/09/2018.

These vacancies will be advertised through the Public Appointments Service Process shortly.

National Museum of Ireland

16

1 Board member vacancy since 31/01/2019 following appointment of a Board member as CEO of the Heritage Council (01/02/2019).

Arrangements for filling the vacancy will be finalised shortly

Foras na Gaeilge*

16

3 Board member vacancies

Appointments to North South Bodies are made by the North South Ministerial Council, arising from nominations on a 50:50 basis from each jurisdiction. Current vacancies are in respect of Northern jurisdiction.

Total Vacancies on DCHG State Boards

10

There are no current vacancies on the following State Boards under my remit: Heritage Council, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Irish Manuscripts Commission, Screen Ireland, National Concert Hall, National Gallery of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, National Archives Advisory Council, Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Ulster Scots Agency.