Local authorities are the statutory housing authorities for their areas and, in that capacity, they are responsible for co-ordinating all social housing activity and should ensure that competition in the pursuit of acquisition opportunities for new social housing by the various delivery bodies, including the authority itself and approved Housing Bodies (AHBs), does not arise.
I am not aware of the types of cases that the Deputy refers to and I believe that, in general, good co-operation exists locally, between authorities and AHBs.
The AHB Forum, which was set up under Rebuilding Ireland, and which is chaired by the Housing Agency, brings together my Department, the local government sector and AHB representatives. The Forum's work involves identifying and disseminating best practice for a co-operative approach in support of strong, local housing delivery, including communications locally to avoid competition between delivery bodies.
I am confident that local authorities and AHBs will continue to work together locally in order to ensure value for money, as well as the accelerated delivery of social housing. However, I will ensure that the issue raised by the Deputy is brought to the next meeting of the AHB Forum, in order to remind local authorities and AHBs of the need to ensure that it does not arise, in practice.