Local Authority Funding

Question No. 2844 answered with Question No. 2841.

Ceisteanna (2843)

John Brady

Ceist:

2843. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the level of funding provided to each local authority in 2018 and to date in 2019. [32595/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Local authorities derive their income from a variety of sources including commercial rates, charges for goods and services and funding from Central Government. Central Government funding of local authorities includes transfers, both current and capital, from a range of Departments and Offices for a variety of purposes. Some streams of funding are delivered directly from funding departments to local authorities, while others are routed through departmental agencies.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) publishes a report on the central government funding of local government. The most recent report refers to 2017 and is available at the following link: https://www.audit.gov.ie/en/Find-Report/Publications/2018/2017-Annual-Report-Chapter-04-Central-government-funding-of-local-authorities1.pdf

The report outlines that in 2017 local authorities received a total of €2.66bn in transfers from central government.

If the Deputy wishes to put down a more specific question in relation to funding provided to local authorities from my Department, I will endeavor to provide the information requested.

Question No. 2844 answered with Question No. 2841.

Housing Adaptation Grant Funding

Ceisteanna (2845, 2893)

Danny Healy-Rae

Ceist:

2845. Deputy Danny Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the significant reduction in funding of the disabled persons grant will be addressed (details supplied). [32790/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Brendan Griffin

Ceist:

2893. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason funding to Kerry County Council for the housing adaptation grant for persons with a disability was reduced from €423,617 to €300,000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32861/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2845 and 2893 together.

I recently announced the 2019 funding allocations to local authorities for the Disabled Persons Grants (DPG) Scheme for adaptations and extensions to existing social homes to meet the needs of local authority tenants. The scheme applies to works that are necessary to address the needs of older people or people with a disability. This may involve minor adaptations such as stair-lifts, grabs -rails, showers, wet-rooms, ramps etc. It also provides funding for more major adaptations such as extensions, for example in the case of overcrowding, the installation of a downstairs bedroom or bathroom.

Some €15 million is being made available under the scheme in 2019, an increase of over €1 million on 2018 levels. On top of this Exchequer funding, the local authority makes a further 10% contribution in respect of these grants. It is a matter for local authorities to prioritise the works to be funded under the scheme in their area, in the context of available funding and in line with the terms of the DPG scheme.

The available funding for 2019 was apportioned across local authorities having regard to individual funding requests. My Department will review the 2019 allocations and funding drawdown later this year with a view to considering the allocation of additional funding should it become available. In the case of Kerry County Council, while their initial allocation for 2018 was €423,617, over €1 million in funding was recouped to the Council by year-end. It will be open to local authorities to seek additional funding in 2019, once their allocation is fully expended and the relevant funding recouped from the Department.

Capital Expenditure Programme

Ceisteanna (2846, 2898)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

2846. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the projected capital spending from 2020 to 2024 for functions within his Department, in tabular form. [32954/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

2898. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the projected capital spending from 2020 to 2024 in his Department by the areas the spending will be directed, in tabular form. [32957/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2846 and 2898 together.

The capital expenditure provisions for my Department over the period 2020-22, as set out in the Mid-year Expenditure Report 2019, are provided in the following table (no specific Departmental allocations were made in respect of 2023 and 2024):

Capital Allocations 2020-22 (€m)

2020

2021

2022

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

2,205

2,269

2,280

The capital allocation for 2020 set out in the Mid-year Expenditure Report 2019 does not take into account a further €13m of drawdown under the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund that was re-profiled from 2019 to 2020, without delay to any URDF projects, as part of the process of accommodating the additional cost pressures arising from the National Children’s Hospital project - this €13m adjustment to the 2020 figure will be reflected at Budget time.

These funding allocations will be used to advance capital investment across a range of programme areas within my Department’s remit, including local authority housing, voluntary housing, estate regeneration, the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund, urban regeneration and development, water and wastewater services, and fire and emergency services. Details of specific allocations towards individual programmes will be finalised as part of the annual Estimates processes, as normal.

Commercial Rates Valuation Process

Ceisteanna (2847)

Niamh Smyth

Ceist:

2847. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the rates bar set in counties Cavan and Monaghan will be reviewed; if he will address concerns raised; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [33637/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Commissioner of Valuation is independent in the performance of his statutory functions and the setting of valuations for rating is his sole responsibility. I have no function in relation to decisions in this regard. The Valuation Office is currently engaged in a national revaluation programme, on a phased basis, representing the first revaluation of that scale, encompassing all rating authority areas, in over 160 years.

Rates income is critical to meet the cost of services provided by local authorities. Local authorities levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the independent Commissioner of Valuation pursuant to the Valuation Acts 2001 to 2015. The annual rate on valuation (ARV) is applied to the valuation of each property, to obtain the amount payable in rates. The ARV is a reserved function decided by the elected members of each local authority in the annual budget.

My Department has in recent years requested local authorities to exercise restraint in setting ARVs and they have responded positively in this regard. The national average ARV has not changed significantly in recent years. The national average ARV decreased slightly each year from 2010 to 2015 and has increased only slightly each year from 2016 to 2019.

In overall terms, while economic activity has been expanding significantly in recent years, the overall rates income of local authorities nationally has remained relatively unchanged. The rates payable by individual businesses may change because of the impact of the revaluation programme being undertaken by the Commissioner of Valuation, or as a result of a stand-alone revision of a property's valuation.

Reasons for valuation increases may be that the valuation of some properties had not been revised to take account of improvements or extensions for some time, or where the valuations were historically low in comparison with the general level of valuations on the valuation list. In overall terms, I understand that of the revaluations conducted to date under the revaluation programme, approximately 60% of ratepayers have had their liability for rates reduced and approximately 40% have experienced an increase. Additionally, gradual rates harmonisation across new local authority areas, following the merger of town and county councils in 2014, may have led to increases in certain areas.

The revaluation provisions in the Valuation Acts 2001 to 2015 provide a modern statutory framework for the revaluation of all rateable property within a rating authority area so as to reflect changes in value due to economic factors, differential movements in property values or other external factors such as infrastructural changes in the vicinity of a property and changes in the local business environment.

Having up to date and consistent valuations, reflecting current market conditions, is critical to ensure that the levying of commercial rates is on a fair, equitable and consistent basis across all economic sectors and parts of the country and this is the core purpose of the national revaluation programme. The revaluation process includes comprehensive communication and appeals mechanisms.

In order to ensure that the revaluation promotes equity across sectors and areas, but is also a revenue neutral exercise in overall terms, the Minister may limit the total amount of rates collectable within the local authority in the year following a revaluation to that collected in the previous year, subject to minor adjustments.

In order to further improve the regime for the levying and collection of commercial rates, the recently enacted Local Government (Rates and Other Matters) Act 2019 will facilitate a more effective and streamlined rates regime. Included in the provisions of the Act are:

- provisions to allow ratepayers to pay rates by instalments or through a payment plan agreed with the local authority;

- schemes for the abatement of rates on vacant properties;

- provisions for the levying of interest on unpaid and overdue rates; and

- the rendering of unpaid rates to be a charge on relevant property.

Importantly, the Act includes provisions to allow a local authority to introduce rates alleviation schemes, which would include schemes to support the implementation of national and local priority plans such as the National Planning Framework or the Government's Realising Our Rural Potential: The Action Plan for Rural Development.

Property Registration Authority

Ceisteanna (2848)

Robert Troy

Ceist:

2848. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the long delays in processing queries at the Land Registry; his plans to address these delays; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34030/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Property Registration Authority (PRA) is the State organisation responsible for the registration of property transactions in Ireland. The PRA manages and controls the Land Registry and the Registry of Deeds and completed in excess of 200,000 Land Registry applications in 2018.

There is considerable variation in the length of time taken to complete a case. Factors that may impact on the completion times include investigation of title requirements, the completeness of the documentation presented, the need to raise additional queries and mapping requirements. Applications submitted to the PRA that are fully in order for registration and that do not result in the raising of queries are dealt with in a timely and efficient manner. Figures available in respect of Land Registry applications for the first half of 2019 show that 86% of applications lodged, which are in order for registration and do not require any changes to the map, are completed within 10 working days.

The process in respect of all applications to the PRA is subject to ongoing business process improvement review to ensure that it is undertaken as efficiently as possible. In addition, the PRA continues to expedite urgent cases on request.

In relation to specific cases, a service for Oireachtas members was introduced in 2006 through which information can be obtained on the current status of individual applications to the PRA. This provides a speedy, efficient and cost effective system through which the PRA can address such queries. This service can be availed of by contacting reps@prai.ie.

Legislative Programme

Ceisteanna (2849, 2850, 2851)

Martin Heydon

Ceist:

2849. Deputy Martin Heydon asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the primary legislation enacted since May 2016; and if the legislation in each case placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31485/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Pat Deering

Ceist:

2850. Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the secondary legislation enacted since 1 January 2018; and if the legislation in each case placed additional regulatory burdens on small and medium enterprises. [31493/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

2851. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of reviews carried out by his Department pursuant to Standing Order No. 164A of Dáil Éireann; the pieces of legislation to which each review refers; the number and title of each piece of legislation in respect of which a review pursuant to Standing Order 164A has not been undertaken; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31633/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2849 to 2851, inclusive, together.

Details of my Department's primary and secondary legislation enacted, since May 2016 and 1 January 2018, respectively, are set out in the following table along with confirmation of where there are regulatory requirements for small and medium enterprises.

My Department has not yet completed post-implementation reviews pursuant to Standing Order 164A.

Primary legislation enacted since May 2016

Does the legislation place regulatory requirements on Small and Medium Enterpises Y/N

Electoral (Amendment) Act 2016 

N

Water Services (Amendment) Act 2016 

N

Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 

N

Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2017  

N

Water Services Act 2017  

N

Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2017 

N

Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018

N

Local Government Act 2019

N

European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Act 2019 

N

Local Government Rates and other Matters Act 2019

Y

Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019

N

Secondary legislation enacted since 1st January 2018

Does the legislation place regulatory requirements on Small and Medium Enterpises Y/N

S.I. No. 4/2018 - Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 25/2018 - Housing (Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 29/2018 - Planning and Development (Amendment) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 30/2018 - Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 31/2018 - Planning and Development (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 37/2018 - Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 65/2018 - European Union (Good Agricultural Practice for Protection of Waters) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

Y

S.I. No. 66/2018 - Referendum Commission (Establishment) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 165/2018 - Community Development (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 193/2018 - Water Services Act 2017 (Part 5) (Establishment Day) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 194/2018 - Water Services Act 2017 (part 7) (Establishment Day) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 200/2018 - Valuation Act 2001 (Vacant Site Appeal to Tribunal) (Fees) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 206/2018 - Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 (Commencement) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 233/2018 - Building Control (Prescribed Qualifications) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 255/2018 - Referendum Commission (Establishment) (No. 2) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 261/2018 - European Union (Water Policy) (Abstractions Registration) Regulations 2018

Y

S.I. No. 266/2018 - Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 (Commencement of Certain Provisions) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 279/2018 - European Parliament Constituency Committee (Establishment) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 280/2018 - European Communities (Establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 296/2018 - European Union (Planning and Development) (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2018

Y

S.I. No. 297/2018 - Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 (Property Vesting Day) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 329/2018 - Presidential Elections (Forms) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 350/2018 - Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 (Commencement) (No. 2) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 352/2018 - Land Development Agency (Establishment) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 374/2018 - Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 (Section 11) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 395/2018 - Presidential Elections (Ballot Paper Template) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 404/2018 - European Union (Planning and Development) (Environmental Impact Assessment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 436/2018 - Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 442/2018 - National Oversight and Audit Commission (Number of Members) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 456/2018 - Valuation Act 2001 (Laois County Council) (Rate Limitation) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 501/2018 - Planning and Development (Fees) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 526/2018 - Building Control (Amendment) Regulation 2018

N

S.I. No. 573/2018 - Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 (Property Vesting Day) (No. 2) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 588/2018 - Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 (Section 27) (Commencement) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 589/2018 - Derelict Sites Act 1990 (Urban Areas) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 603/2018 - Land Development Agency (Amendment) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 604/2018 - Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act 1971 (Designation of Bodies) Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 610/2018 - County of Carlow Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 611/2018 - County of Cavan Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 612/2018 - County of Clare Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 613/2018 - County of Donegal Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 614/2018 - City of Dublin Local Electoral Areas Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 615/2018 - County of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Local Electoral Areas Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 616/2018 - County of Fingal Local Electoral Areas Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 617/2018 - City of Galway Local Electoral Areas Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 618/2018 - County of Galway Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 619/2018 - County of Kerry Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 620/2018 - County of Kildare Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 621/2018 - County of Kilkenny Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 622/2018 - County of Laois Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 623/2018 - County of Leitrim Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 624/2018 - City and County of Limerick Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 625/2018 - County of Longford Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 626/2018 - County of Louth Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 627/2018 - County of Mayo Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 628/2018 - County of Meath Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 629/2018 - County of Monaghan Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 630/2018 - County of Offaly Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 631/2018 - County of Roscommon Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 632/2018 - County of Sligo Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 633/2018 - County of South Dublin Local Electoral Areas Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 634/2018 - County of Tipperary Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 635/2018 - City and County of Waterford Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 636/2018 - County of Westmeath Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 637/2018 - County of Wexford Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 638/2018 - County of Wicklow Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2018

N

S.I. No. 646/2018 - European Union (Planning and Development) (Environmental Impact Assessment) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 648/2018 - European Communities (Marine Strategy Framework) (Amendment) Regulations 2018

N

S.I. No. 6/2019 County of Louth Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts (Amendment) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 7/2019 County of Wicklow Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts (Amendment) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 8/2019 County of Meath Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts (Amendment) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 12/2019 Planning and Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 20/2019 Local Government Act 2019 (Commencement) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 23/2019 - Environment (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2011 (Commencement) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 24/2019 - Local Government Act 2001 (Commencement) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 25/2019 - Local Government Act 2019 (Transfer Day) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 27/2019 - City of Cork Local Electoral Areas Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 28/2019 - County Of Cork Local Electoral Areas and Municipal Districts Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 54/2019 - Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2012 (Commencement of Certain Provisions ) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 68/2019 - Referendum Commission (Establishment) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 75/2019 - European Parliament Elections Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 76/2019 - Electoral (Amendment) Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 81/2019 - Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 (Part 5) Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 100/2019 - Planning and Development Act 2000, Section 181(2)(a) Order No. 2, 2019

N

S.I. No. 104/2019 - Housing (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 117/2019 - European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Act 2019 (Commencement) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 118/2019 - Local Elections (Disclosure Of Donations And Expenditure) Act 1999 (Period For Reckoning Election Expenses) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 121/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Limerick City East) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 122/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Navan) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 133/2019 - Planning And Development (Amendment) Act 2018 (Commencement) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 134/2019 - Planning And Development Act 2000 (Part IIB) (Establishment Day) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 137/2019 - Housing (Standards For Rented Houses) Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 153/2019 - Electoral (Supplement to the Register of Electors) Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 156/2019 - County Of Tipperary Local Electoral Areas And Municipal Districts (Amendment) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 157/2019 - County Of Kerry Local Electoral Areas And Municipal Districts (Amendment) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 162/2019 - Direct Election of Mayor Plebiscite Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 183/2019 - European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) (No.2) Regulations 2019

Y

S.I. No. 196/2019 - Elections (Ballot Paper Template) Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 214/2019 - Electoral Act, 1992 (Section 165) Regulations, 2019

N

S.I. No. 220/2019 - European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Act 2019 (Commencement) (No. 2) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 235/2019 - Planning And Development Act 2000 (Exempted Development) (No. 2) Regulations 2019

Y

S.I. No. 236/2019 - Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 (Commencement) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 263/2019 - Building Regulations (Part F Amendment) Regulations 2019

Y

S.I. No. 286/2019 - Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 (Commencement) (No. 2) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 287/2019 - Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (Prescribed Form) Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 292/2019 - European Union (Energy Performance of Buildings) (No.2) Regulations 2019

Y

S.I. No. 308/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Ardee) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 309/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Arklow) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 310/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Athenry - Oranmore) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 311/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Athlone) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 312/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Dundalk - Carlingford) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 313/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Dundalk South) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 314/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Fermoy) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 315/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Gorey) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 316/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Gort - Kinvara) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 317/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Graiguecullen - Portarlington) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 318/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Kells) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 319/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Kilkenny) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 320/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Limerick City North) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 321/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Limerick City West) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 322/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Midleton) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 323/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Portlaoise) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 324/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Trim) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 325/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Waterford City East) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 326/2019 - Rent Pressure Zone (Local Electoral Area Of Waterford City South) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 355/2019- Local Government rates and Other Matters Act (Commencment) Order 2019

N

S.I. No. 353/2019 - Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (Prescribed Form)(No. 2) Regulations 2019

N

S.I. No. 354/2019 - Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2019 (Commencement) (No. 3) Order 2019

N

Housing Estates

Ceisteanna (2852, 2987)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

2852. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the new taking in charge initiative, TICI, measure 2, will be open to local authorities for applications; and when it is expected funds will be approved for schemes. [31701/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

2987. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when he will approve the revised taking in charge, TIC, measure 2 initiative; when it will be opened for applications; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34536/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2852 and 2987 together.

Findings and recommendations from the National Taking In Charge Initiative (NTICI) were included in a report on the initiative that was published by my Department in December 2018. The National Development Plan 2018-2027 includes provision of €31 million for the period 2018-2021 for developer-provided infrastructure, commencing with a provision of €6 million in 2019. I announced commencement of this new multi-annual funding programme, including details of the application process, on 23 July 2019.

Housing Assistance Payment Data

Ceisteanna (2853)

John Brady

Ceist:

2853. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the various rates of homeless housing assistance payment, HAP, available outside of Dublin; if local authorities outside of Dublin have been awarded an increase in the payment allowable in line with the Dublin rate; if he will consider increasing the rate payable in line with Dublin particularly in commuter counties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31709/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, tenants source their own accommodation. The accommodation sourced by tenants should be within the prescribed maximum HAP rent limits, which are based on household size and the rental market within the area concerned.

Each local authority has statutory discretion to agree to a HAP payment up to 20% above the prescribed maximum rent limit in circumstances where it is necessary, because of local rental market conditions, to secure appropriate accommodation for a household that requires it. It is a matter for the local authority to determine if the application of the flexibility is warranted on a case by case basis.

Additional discretion of up to 50% above rent limits is available to assist in housing homeless households in the Dublin Region. The additional discretion available to homeless households recognises the difficulty this cohort of households face in sourcing and securing properties in a highly competitive rental market. I have no plans at this time to provide a similar level of discretion to local authorities outside of the Dublin area.

However, in order to provide additional assistance to vulnerable households and to better resource local authorities, a Homeless HAP Place Finder service has been rolled out across all local authorities with effect from January 2018. The purpose of the Place Finder service is to target HAP supported rental properties for households in emergency accommodation, assisting households find suitable accommodation and providing the payment of a deposit and first month's rent on the behalf of the HAP recipient.

To date, 22 Place Finders have been appointed and are operational in 24 local authorities. 7 local authorities indicated that they did not wish to seek additional resources to establish a Place Finder service as they were satisfied with their existing homeless service. The operation of local homeless services, including the putting in place and operation of a Place Finder service, is a matter for each local authority.

I continue to keep the operation of HAP under review but I am currently satisfied with how the scheme is operating and I consider it to be a key vehicle for meeting current housing need and fulfilling the ambitious programme set out in Rebuilding Ireland.

Water Supply

Ceisteanna (2854)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

2854. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if there are grants or schemes in place for private well owners who would offset the cost of installing and maintaining private wells; if not, the grants being considered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31803/19]

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.

Private Rented Accommodation Data

Ceisteanna (2855, 2856, 2857)

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

2855. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the target number of inspections for private rented accommodation for Dublin City Council in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31804/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

2856. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of contractors employed by Dublin City Council to carry out inspections of private rented accommodation in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the cost to outsource such work to contractors compared to council employees; the way in which the contractors’ work is monitored; the way in which regulations are enforced by contractors if they have no legal powers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31805/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Anne Rabbitte

Ceist:

2857. Deputy Anne Rabbitte asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of private rented properties inspected by Dublin City Council brought into compliance after enforcement action in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31806/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2855 to 2857, inclusive, together.

The Strategy for the Rental Sector, published in December 2016, set out a series of measures to be introduced to ensure the quality of private rental accommodation by strengthening the applicable standards and improving the inspection and enforcement systems.

The Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019 focus on tenant safety and include new measures covering heating appliances, carbon monoxide and window safety. My Department also published a guidance document to assist and support local authorities in implementing the new Regulations.

All landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their rented properties comply with these regulations and responsibility for the enforcement of the Regulations rests with the relevant local authority.

Between 2005 and 2018, over €39 million has been paid to local authorities to assist them in the performance of their functions under the Housing Acts, including the inspection of rented accommodation. Over 258,000 inspections were carried out during this period.

The Rental Strategy recognises the need for additional resources to be provided to local authorities to aid increased inspections of properties and ensure greater compliance with the Regulations. Provision has been made for €4.5 million of Exchequer funding to be made available to local authorities in 2019 for this purpose, with the intention of providing further increases each year in the period to 2021 to facilitate a targeted inspection coverage of 25% of rental properties annually at that stage.

The targets agreed for Dublin City Council for 2018 and 2019 are as follows:

Targets

2018 (10%)

2019 (15%)

7,481

11,221

Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each Chief Executive is responsible for the staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authority for which he or she is responsible. Details in relation to the number of contractors employed by Dublin City Council to carry out inspections of private rented accommodation and the associated costs are not available in my Department.

Detailed information in relation to inspections carried out by each local authority since 2005 is available on my Department's website at the following link:

http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/statistics/house-building-and-private-rented/private-housing-market-statistics.

Planning Issues

Ceisteanna (2858)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

2858. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the determination by the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee that section 42(1)(a)(i) and (ii) of the Planning and Development Act 2000 does not meet the requirements of Article 6(10) of the Aarhus Convention; his plans to bring forward amending legislation to bring this section of the Act into line with the convention; and if he is satisfied that all planning legislation introduced since May 2016 is fully compliant with the Aarhus Convention. [31818/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The determination referred to concerns an ongoing Aarhus Convention complaint case on which a final determination by the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee has not yet been made and on which legal advice has been sought from the Office of the Attorney General on a recent draft determination in this case. It would therefore be premature and inappropriate for me to comment on this ongoing case at this point in time.

Local Authority Housing Data

Ceisteanna (2859)

Niall Collins

Ceist:

2859. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a schedule by local authority of all vacant and void residential properties will be published on the website of his Department and updated every two weeks; if the address of the property will be stated; if the date it became vacant or void and the target date for the property to be put back into use and allocated to a person or persons on the housing list will also be stated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31884/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In the context of their role in scrutinising performance of local authorities and supporting best practice, the National Oversight & Audit Commission (NOAC) reviews the social housing stock level in local authorities every year, including the number of vacant local authority houses at a particular point in time. NOAC’s activities in this regard are summarised in its Annual Performance Indicator Reports and the most recent data, including the number of vacant local authority houses, on a local authority basis are set out in the 2017 report which is available on the NOAC website, at the following link: http://noac.ie/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/NOAC-Performance-Indicators-Report-2017.pdf. The previous annual reports are also available on the NOAC website.

Local authorities own and manage some 130,000 social homes, with tenants moving in and out on a continuous basis. Accordingly, the number of social homes that are occupied or vacant at any given time changes continuously. The management and maintenance of their own housing stock, including dealing with tenancies starting or ending and re-letting properties, is a matter for each individual local authority, in line with Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966.

I am keen that local authorities focus on the day-to-day work involved with managing their housing stock, dealing with re-lets and with tenancy issues, rather than diverting staff to undertake a significant amount of repeated reporting on this activity, when the information concerned is related to local housing management activities. My Department has provided over €145 million of exchequer funding to local authorities from 2014 to 2018, to support their work in returning vacant social housing to use and we are continuing that support.

Given the direct responsibility of local authorities for managing their own housing stock, I am keen that elected Councils play a proactive role in supporting this work, both by overseeing performance in their individual local authorities and also, by making adequate budgetary provision for housing repairs and maintenance, utilising the housing rental income available to them.

Urban Renewal Schemes

Ceisteanna (2860)

David Cullinane

Ceist:

2860. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the funds for the element of the North Quays project in Waterford that involves the moving of Waterford train station will come from his Department; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31946/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In 2016, the North Quays in Waterford was the subject of a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) order made by the Government, recognising the social and economic importance of the site to the State, and designating the Waterford North Quays for mixed-use development, subject to preparation of an SDZ planning scheme, which has since been completed.

The National Planning Framework (NPF), launched in February 2018 as part of Project Ireland 2040, includes objectives to achieve more compact urban growth within Ireland’s cities, including the significant further development of Waterford City. Further to the NPF, a ten-year Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) was established with investment of €2bn available to 2027.

In 2018, bids were invited from public bodies for funding support from the URDF. On 26 November 2018, I announced initial support of €100m in provisional allocations to a total of 88 projects throughout the country under the first call for proposals. As part of this first tranche of approvals, the Waterford North Quays Project was allocated initial URDF support of €6m.

A large and complex integrated urban project, the Waterford North Quays proposal includes very significant high cost capital elements. Under the first URDF call for proposals, the Council submitted a bid for URDF funding which included four very significant elements:

1. Relocation of the City’s railway station to the east to form a new public transport interchange;

2. A new pedestrian/cyclist/public transport bridge and associated urban greenway;

3. Site access roads and road realignment;

4. Off-site roads in the wider north bank of the Suir area in Waterford/Kilkenny.

It is intended that the infrastructural works involved will open up the North Quays site, making it more accessible and supporting the achievement of the objectives of the SDZ planning scheme more generally.

This project is still in the early stages of its development. The overall project is one of the more complex URDF proposals and so it is essential that careful consideration be given to the design, planning, sequencing, procurement and construction of its various components, including the proposed relocation of the railway station.

While I have agreed in principle to further URDF support in respect of the overall North Quays project, its proposed composition, costs and sequencing must be further refined so that the precise level of URDF support can be established, and apportioned to the various individual project components.

While the advancement of this project is, in the first instance, a matter for Waterford City & County Council, my Department is engaging actively with the Council with a view to early resolution of these matters.

Traveller Accommodation

Ceisteanna (2861)

Eoin Ó Broin

Ceist:

2861. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 855 of 9 July 2019, the steps he is taking to ensure the full amount of the €13 million in funding available for Traveller accommodation for 2019 is drawn down by local authorities. [31973/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I refer to the reply to Question No. 855 of 9 July 2019.

In addition, in line with the commitment in Rebuilding Ireland, and reflecting the disappointing level of overall funding drawdown in recent years, the Housing Agency commissioned a review of funding for Traveller-specific accommodation. Following consideration of the review, the National Traveller Accommodation Consultative Committee recommended the establishment of an independent expert group to review the effectiveness, implementation and operation of legislation and to put forward proposals to improve delivery of Traveller accommodation nationally. The Expert Group was established in September 2018 and has now completed their report which has been presented to me.

My Department will consider the recommendations made by the Expert Group that have the potential to improve the delivery of Traveller accommodation nationally and help to ensure that full use is made of the increasing level of funding available for investment in Traveller accommodation.

Home Loan Scheme

Ceisteanna (2862)

John Curran

Ceist:

2862. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when South Dublin County Council will be provided with a formal allocation for the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32035/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

When the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan (RIHL) scheme was initially being developed, it was estimated that the drawdown of loans would be approximately €200 million over three years. The RIHL has proven to be more successful than initially anticipated, with some €140 million drawn down to the end of March 2019. The first tranche of funding has not been exhausted.

My officials have been engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform since October 2018 when higher lending and drawdown volumes were beginning to materialise. I informed the Dáil on 29 January 2019 of the scheme’s success and of the need for additional funding and indicated that my Department was in discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Finance with regard to the allocation for 2019.

At all times, the scheme remained open and all local authorities were advised to continue to receive and process applications up to and including the issuing of loans.

My Department has consulted in detail with each Local Authority as to the anticipated demand in its area, and the likely level of approvals expected. This information has been submitted to the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with request for sanction for additional borrowing by the Housing Finance Agency. The HFA have an ongoing borrowing facility for when sanction is given so that they are in a position to proceed to borrow this second tranche of funding immediately.

The first tranche of funding has not been exhausted, the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan remains open to new applicants, and all local authorities including South Dublin County Council are to continue to receive and process applications and issue loans.

Local Authority Staff Recruitment

Ceisteanna (2863)

John Curran

Ceist:

2863. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of new staff recruited in the four Dublin local authorities in order to implement the Climate Action Plan 2019 locally in the city; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32036/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each Chief Executive is responsible for the staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authority for which he or she is responsible.

In January 2018, Dublin City Council was nominated as the lead authority for the Dublin Metropolitan Region, to establish a Climate Action Regional Office with a €10 million financial commitment from the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment. Following on from this on 26th March 2018, my Department received four staffing sanction requests from Dublin City Council on behalf of the four Dublin local authorities. The status of these requests is set out in the following table.

Title of Post

Type of contract sought

Outcome

1 X Regional Co-ordinator –Senior Engineer level

5 year contract

Approved 11th April 2018

1 X Executive Engineer level

5 year contract

Approved 11th April 2018

1 X Assistant Engineer level

5 year contract

Approved 11th April 2018

1 X Senior Staff Officer

5 year contract

Approved 11th April 2018

My Department received a staff sanction request from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for a Climate Action Officer, on a 5 year contract basis, on 28 June 2019 and this request is pending, awaiting supporting information from the Council.

It is open to the local authorities to submit staff sanction requests to facilitate the delivery of their services and each staffing sanction request is examined on a case by case basis having due regard to the delivery of important initiatives and services and in the overall context of agreed staffing numbers and budgetary constraints.

Housing Issues

Ceisteanna (2864, 2865, 2866, 2867)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

2864. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason for the difference between the 100,000 purpose designed homes on page 23 described as potential market and unmet need, and the combined total figure of 300,000 for housing for older people on page 8 described as the requirement for housing suitable for older persons by 2031, regarding the policy statement Housing Options for Our Ageing Population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32040/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

2865. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress made on the development phase of Action 4.5, which is due for delivery in 12 months, regarding the 40 Actions in the policy statement Housing Options for Our Ageing Population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32041/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

2866. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress made on the review phase of action 4.3, which is due for delivery in six months, regarding the 40 actions in the policy statement Housing Options for Our Ageing Population; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32042/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

2867. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress made on paragraph 5.8 of Rebuilding Ireland, which provides a commitment to explore ways to promote the availability of step-down, specialist housing for older persons and incentivise down sizing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [32043/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2864 to 2867, inclusive, together.

The document 'Housing Options for Our Ageing Population' is a joint policy statement published by my Department and the Department of Health. The policy statement builds on policy for the housing of older people as outlined in Rebuilding Ireland and the National Planning Framework 2040.

The policy statement outlines six principles that have been derived primarily from, and are reinforced by, the various research findings outlined in the document and learnings and experience to date from the case studies set out therein, which are excellent examples of housing for older people. These principles are intended to inform strategic planning in developing housing options and supports for older people. The principles are as follows: Ageing in Place; Supporting Urban Renewal; Promoting Sustainable Lifetime Housing; Using Assistive Technology; Staying Socially Connected; and Working Together.

There are 40 actions set out in the policy statement, of which 22 are to be led by my Department, 13 by the Department of Health and 5 by both. Some of the actions are already being progressed.

Actions 4.3 and 4.5 of the Housing Options for Our Ageing Population Policy Statement, relating to development contributions and financial incentives, are both targeted for completion in 2020.

With regards to Action 5.8 of Rebuilding Ireland, this Action was incorporated into the Housing Options for our Ageing Population as Action 4.7 of the policy statement. It states that methods to incentivise older people in public and private housing to rightsize to appropriately sized units will be established. This action will be progressed in the manner referred to above with all of the other actions.

The statistics referred to on pages 8 and 23 of the policy statement are published in a 2016 report Housing For Older People-Thinking Ahead, compiled by the Housing Agency, ISAX and Amárach Research. The figure of 100,000 on page 23 of the policy statement refers to the current potential market for purpose designed homes for older people. The figure of 300,000 (150,000 right sizing units within existing communities and 150,000 age friendly units in purpose built developments) on page 8 of the policy statement is based on CSO projections and estimates the housing needs of older people out to 2031.