Tuesday, 23 July 2019

Ceisteanna (2942)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

2942. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when funding will be released for the new private well grants scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33590/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

There is a grant currently available, which is funded by my Department through the local authorities, for the provision or necessary improvement of an individual water supply in a house. This is more commonly called the individual or private wells grant. The grant, subject to certain conditions, assists households dependent on these supplies with the costs incurred in providing such a supply of water for domestic purposes or rectifying serious deficiencies with an existing supply.

Information on this grant is available from local authorities and from my Department's website at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/water/water-services/rural-water-programme/private-wells

Earlier this year I announced details of the new Multi-annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021. This included an improved funding scheme for individual wells.

The composition of the new multi-annual programme is based on recommendations from the Working Group that I established in April 2018 to conduct a review of investment needs and rural water services. The changes that I have approved to the individual wells grant scheme are, as follows:

- A maximum grant for rehabilitation works of €3,000, which represents an increase of 47% on the current maximum grant amount;

- Where the local authority agrees that the most appropriate solution is to provide a new well, the maximum grant payable would be €5,000;

- Recognising the role of the grant in improving quality, the water quality treatment element (typically filtration and UV filtration) will qualify for 100% funding up to a maximum of €1,000;

- Up to 85% of other costs would be met, subject to the total combined maximum costs of €3,000 for well rehabilitation or €5,000 for a new well;

- For clarity, applicants would not be able to avail of both grant amounts, so they would not be able to avail of €3,000 for well rehabilitation as well as the €5,000 for a new well.

Work is at an advanced stage of development for the new scheme. I expect that the process will be completed shortly when the necessary regulations dealing with the financial assistance arrangements and related administrative matters are put in place. This will enable a circular letter, terms and conditions, guidance and the application form to issue to local authorities shortly thereafter.