Question No. 2967 answered with Question No. 2938.

Water Meters Data

Ceisteanna (2968)

Catherine Murphy

Ceist:

2968. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of water metres installed at new and-or existing domestic and-or private dwellings in 2017, 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34333/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local levels, pursuant to Section 7 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 which provided for the transfer to Irish Water of the general water services functions conferred on the county and city councils by the Water Services Act 2007. Section 32 of the 2007 Act sets out responsibilities in respect of general water services functions and includes the installation and maintenance of meters. As Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, I have no direct role in this operational matter.

It may be helpful to note that Irish Water has established a dedicated team to deal with representations and queries from public representatives. The team can be contacted via email to oireachtasmembers@water.ie or by telephone on a dedicated number, 1890 578 578.

Pyrite Remediation Programme Expenditure

Question No. 2970 answered with Question No. 2883.

Ceisteanna (2969)

Pearse Doherty

Ceist:

2969. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applications made to date under the remediation scheme for homes affected by pyrite and mica; the amount paid out by his Department to date; the efforts his Department have made to make as many affected homeowners as possible aware of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34347/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In October 2018, the Government approved in principle the development of a grant scheme of financial assistance to support affected homeowners in the counties of Donegal and Mayo to carry out the necessary remediation works to dwellings that have been damaged due to defective concrete blocks.

In May 2019, agreement was reached with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform to allocate €20 million to a scheme for this purpose from within the €2.4 billion housing budget for 2019. Funding for future years will be agreed on an annual basis as part of the normal Estimates process.

The full terms and conditions of the scheme are being finalised, again in consultation with the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. This process will take account of the engagement that my Department is currently having with both Donegal and Mayo County Councils. In this regard, officials from my Department have recently had a number of meetings with both local authority teams to discuss implementation arrangements for the scheme and further engagement will take place over the coming weeks.

On completion of this work, it is intended to revert to Government on the matter. The aim will be to complete the outstanding work without delay in order to ensure that the scheme can get underway as early as possible.

In regard to the issue of the awareness of the scheme, my Department will continue to work with the two local authorities involved on implementation arrangements, including the communication of the scheme.

Question No. 2970 answered with Question No. 2883.

Local Authority Housing Data

Ceisteanna (2971)

John Curran

Ceist:

2971. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of vacant units returned to the housing stock for each local authority in 2018 and to date in 2019; the amount of funding allocated to each local authority for same in 2018 and to date in 2019; the amount of funding paid to each local authority to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34417/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department does not hold details of all housing units returned to use by local authorities in 2018 and 2019 as, given that they own around 130,000 such properties, local authorities are dealing continuously with the re-letting of properties as tenants move in and out on an ongoing basis.

My Department does recognise through the Voids Programme, that over and above normal property re-lets, an amount of vacant social homes are in need of far greater levels of repair. The following table sets out the number of local authority dwellings that were brought back to use during 2018 and in quarter 1 of 2019, with funding provided through the Voids Programme. The data shown for 2019 in respect of both units returned and funding provided, does not necessarily represent the full extent of activity under the Programme by individual local authorities, as some will have refurbished and re-let properties but have not, as yet, submitted details to my Department for funding drawdown.

Local Authority

Units returned in 2018

Funding drawn down 2018

Units reported as returned for Q1 2019

Funding drawn down in Q1 2019

Carlow

38

€555,874

0

0

Cavan

14

€270,779

0

0

Clare

43

€906,400

22

€1,234,475

Cork City

74

€820,190

69

€586,109

Cork County

205

€4,351,122

19

€629,743

Donegal

86

€969,585

5

€194,575

Dublin City

495

€8,299,452

50

€831,704

Fingal

48

€589,150

0

0

South Dublin

61

€574,589

0

0

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

50

€436,845

0

0

Galway City

3*

0

0

0

Galway County

45

€763,853

19

€223,406

Kerry

98

€1,132,446

24

€242,603

Kildare

27

€639,867

0

0

Kilkenny

15

€212,293

0

0

Laois

12

€97,688

0

0

Leitrim

30

€387,427

12

€141,649

Limerick

24

€272,177

0

0

Longford

3

€67,500

0

0

Louth

13

€166,794

2

€36,713

Mayo

20

204,474

0

0

Meath

59

€836,941

0

0

Monaghan

52

€496,283

13

€110,638

Offaly

10

€102,929

7

€102,575

Roscommon

2

€22,600

0

€18,726

Sligo

100

€1,650,283

0

0

Tipperary

63

€771,582

17

€265,686

Waterford

20*

0

4

€187,015

Westmeath

23

€207,845

0

0

Wexford

8*

0

13

€252,968

Wicklow

24

€452,145

0

0

Totals

1,765

€26,259,113

276

€5,058,585

* In the case of certain local authorities, properties were remediated under the Programme in 2018 but funding drawdowns were only completed in early 2019.

Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund

Ceisteanna (2972)

John Curran

Ceist:

2972. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount of funding drawn down through the LIHAF in 2018 and to date in 2019; the number of draw down requests that have been submitted; the number of requests being processed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34418/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

As a key initiative of the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) is designed to fund the provision of public off-site infrastructure to relieve critical infrastructure blockages and enable housing developments to be built on key sites at scale.

Funding of €200 million was originally made available under LIHAF, of which €150 million would be funded by the Exchequer with local authorities to match fund €50 million. 30 projects received final approval at a total cost of €195.71 million, of which €146.69 million will be funded by the Exchequer and local authorities will fund the balance. Details on all of the LIHAF projects by local authority area, budget

allocation, project description, and housing delivery have been published on the Rebuilding Ireland website and are available at the following link:

www.rebuildingireland.ie/LIHAF

In terms of LIHAF funding drawdown, thus far, most projects have been at the design and planning stages, whereas the bulk of expenditure only arises during the construction phase, and this is reflected in the level of expenditure to date. As more projects progress further through construction, it is expected that the drawdown will increase significantly during the rest of 2019 and 2020.

In 2018, 59 LIHAF claims were received, all of which all were paid. To date in 2019, 41 claims have been received, 40 of which have been paid and 1 currently being processed.

LIHAF drawdown commenced in 2017 with €1.60m provided, increasing to €6.814m in 2018 and increasing further to €11.658m to date in 2019. This brings the total Exchequer funding drawn down to date to some € 21.7 million.

Social and Affordable Housing

Ceisteanna (2973)

John Brady

Ceist:

2973. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the affordable housing scheme; the targets for affordable rentals and homes within County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34493/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In June 2018, I commenced Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, which now places affordable housing on a statutory basis.

One of the mechanisms available to local authorities to help them deliver affordable housing options is the Serviced Site Fund (SSF). Under the SSF, €310 million is being made available over a three year period, from 2019 to 2021, to support the delivery of infrastructure on local authority sites, which will in turn help provide for the delivery of over 6,000 affordable homes to buy or rent.

The first call for proposals under the SSF in June 2018 aimed to provide funding opportunities to 11 local authorities, including Wicklow County Council, where it was identified that the greatest affordability pressures exist. I issued approval in principle in December 2018 for funding for 10 infrastructure projects in Dublin and Cork with €43 million funding, which will support the delivery of 1,400 affordable homes.

Following the first call under the SSF, and in order to target affordable interventions, local authorities were asked to complete financial/economic assessments of each of their sites to assess whether the provision of affordable homes is economically viable. Local authorities were also asked to assess the broader housing affordability within their area. The economic assessment from Wicklow County Council submitted to my Department identified 8 sites (outlined in the table below) as potentially suitable for affordable housing.

Location

Ballynerrin, Wicklow Town

O’Sullivan Lands, Rathnew

Ashtown Lane, Wicklow

Barndarrig

Rehills Land, Bray

Berryfield, Delgany

Millltown Road, Dunlavin

Tinahask Upper, Arklow

Glenealy, Wicklow

A second call for proposals under the SSF issued in April 2019 to 19 local authorities, including Wicklow County Council, based on the aforementioned economic assessments. The closing date for returns was 17 May 2019 and 31 submissions were received from 15 local authorities, including one in Rathnew in respect of County Wicklow. These proposals are currently being assessed by my Department and I intend to issue approvals in principle to successful applications under this second call in the coming weeks.

Cost rental is a major national strategic housing objective. Cost Rental is housing where the rents charged are limited to covering the cost of delivering, managing and maintaining the homes. It aims to offer moderate-income households the choice of a more affordable and stable form of rental tenure. A Cost Rental Working Group has been convened to develop an overall national policy and approach to delivery. The European Investment Bank has been engaged on a research project to support the Department in its work and help identify the optimum operational and financial model for Cost Rental in Ireland. In addition, the Department is co-ordinating with a number of bodies to progress Cost Rental delivery, including the Land Development Agency (LDA), which is examining the potential to deliver Cost Rental homes at scale from its land portfolio and the broader State land bank. Two Cost Rental pilot projects are currently in development at Enniskerry Road in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown and St. Michael’s Estate in Inchicore, with construction having commenced at the Enniskerry Road site at the end of June. The learning from these projects will inform the rollout of the concept more widely, as appropriate.

These schemes will complement other key Government affordability initiatives, such as the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan and the Help to Buy Scheme, which have supported some 13,000 households.

Homeless Persons Supports

Ceisteanna (2974)

John Brady

Ceist:

2974. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the provisions in place for rough sleeping homeless persons in County Wicklow; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34494/19]

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. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of homeless services, including accommodation, rests with individual housing authorities and, accordingly, the issue referred to is a matter for Wicklow County Council.

Home Loan Scheme

Ceisteanna (2975)

John Brady

Ceist:

2975. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of Rebuilding Ireland home loans approved and drawn down in County Wicklow and by LEA or municipal district; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34495/19]

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 1 2019, including in relation to number and value of mortgage drawdowns, broken down by local authority, 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.

Information regarding approvals and draw-downs at the level of constituent area within a local authority area is not available in my Department.

Local Authority Housing Data

Question No. 2977 answered with Question No. 2883.

Ceisteanna (2976)

John Brady

Ceist:

2976. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of homes delivered via the buy and renew scheme in the first half of 2019 in County Wicklow and by LEA or municipal district; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34496/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Under my Department’s Social Housing Investment Programme, funding is available to all local authorities to deliver additional social housing stock through the acquisition of new and previously owned houses/apartments for social housing use. This includes delivery through the Buy & Renew Scheme.

To date, Wicklow County Council has not delivered new social housing through the Buy & Renew Scheme. It should be noted, however, that local authorities can also acquire properties in need of remediation under their normal acquisitions programme.

Question No. 2977 answered with Question No. 2883.

Housing Data

Ceisteanna (2978)

John Brady

Ceist:

2978. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of new social homes that will be constructed and delivered in County Wicklow in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34498/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Details in relation to social housing delivery, including new builds, across all local authorities are published on my Department's website at the following link: https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision.

My Department also publishes status reports on a quarterly basis of all social housing construction schemes for all local authority areas, including Wicklow. The most recent of these reports covers the period up to the end of March 2019, and contains information on the progress of over 20,300 new social homes, which are currently approved and progressing through planning, design and construction, as well as homes delivered to end March 2019. This report is available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-publishes-social-housing-construction-status-report-for-q1-2019/.

National social housing delivery targets have been set under Rebuilding Ireland out to 2021. The 2019 build targets, along with 2018-2021 overall social housing targets, on a local authority basis, including Wicklow County Council, across all delivery streams under Rebuilding Ireland, are available on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/social-housing-targets-2019/.

Local Authority Housing Data

Ceisteanna (2979, 2994)

John Brady

Ceist:

2979. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of social housing within council stock that are wheelchair accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34501/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

2994. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of social housing units within council stock that are wheelchair accessible within south central areas of Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34593/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2979 and 2994 together.

The information requested is not available in my Department.

In accordance with the statutory provisions relating to the provision of social housing, local authorities must take account of the needs of all applicants, including those with disabilities, when making their allocation schemes.

Arising from the vision and strategic aims of the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (NHSPWD) to achieve a coordinated and integrated approach to meeting the housing needs of people with a disability at local level, Housing and Disability Steering Groups (HDSGs) have been established in all local authority areas. These are chaired by the Directors of Housing, with membership including the HSE and disability representatives.

Each HDSG has prepared a local Strategic Plan for its own City/County area, to develop specific local strategies to meet the identified and emerging housing needs of people with disabilities in their areas, with a view to developing annual targets for the delivery of housing to people with a disability on their housing waiting lists. Plans are now operational in each local authority and, along with the annual Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA), allow local authorities to plan more strategically for the housing needs of people with a disability and support the delivery of accommodation using all appropriate housing mechanisms.

Energy Efficiency

Ceisteanna (2980, 2981)

John Brady

Ceist:

2980. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of retrofitting grant applications from the Bray municipal district area; the number agreed and rejected, respectively; the number taken up; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34502/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

John Brady

Ceist:

2981. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of public housing stock retrofitted by both deep and shallow retrofits, respectively provided in County Wicklow by LEA in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34503/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2980 and 2981 together.

The Energy Efficiency Programme for local authority housing, introduced in 2013, is designed to improve the insulation standards and overall energy performance of local authority housing stock. The programme is implemented in two phases: Phase 1 which aims to ensure that the entire social housing stock has, as a minimum, cavity wall and attic insulation and Phase 2, which focuses on the fabric upgrade works to those dwellings with solid/hollow block wall construction and includes the provision of heating upgrades.

Under the programme, each local authority receives an annual funding allocation and it is their responsibility to select properties for inclusion in the programme, including the blend of properties to be tackled between deep and shallow retrofits. Some 1,639 social homes in County Wicklow have been retrofitted under this programme, with funding support of just under €5 million. As my Department is not involved in the selection of the properties to be retrofitted nor in the decision as to whether they should be tackled as deep or shallow retrofits, information in this regard is not available in my Department but may be available from the County Council directly.

Rental Accommodation Standards

Ceisteanna (2982)

Thomas P. Broughan

Ceist:

2982. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on the fact that around 90% of rental homes in rent pressure zones failed to meet the 2017 minimum housing standards according to a recent media report; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34511/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

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 Strategy acknowledged the overall low rates of inspection of the private rental stock and low rates of compliance, as well as the need for greater consistency in approach to implementation of the regulations across local authorities.

The Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations 2019 specify requirements in relation to a range of matters, such as structural repair, sanitary facilities, heating, ventilation, natural light and safety of gas, oil and electrical supply. My Department also published a guidance document to assist and support local authorities in implementing these 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.

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.

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:

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

Home Loan Scheme

Ceisteanna (2983, 2984)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

2983. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the waiting times for the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme in the Cork County Council area by 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months, respectively from the application being accepted to approval; and the number of applications drawn down. [34531/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

2984. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the waiting times for the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme in the Cork City Council area by 3, 6, 9, 12, 18 and 24 months, respectively from the application being accepted to approval; and the number of applications drawn down. [34532/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 2983 and 2984 together.

In accordance with the Regulations establishing the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme, the local authorities are the statutory bodies responsible for approving and issuing mortgages under the scheme. Each authority has a credit committee, which is responsible for making the final decisions on loan applications.

As such, my Department does not routinely collect the information referred to by the Deputy. However, towards the end of last year a request was made to a number of local authorities for information regarding processing times for loan applications.

Based on the information from those local authorities, and from the Housing Agency with regard to its assessment of applications, it is estimated the average time taken to process applications last year was seven weeks. This is in line with the expected timeframe of 6-8 weeks as set out on the RIHL website.

Regarding drawdowns, my Department will continue to publish information on the overall number and value of (i) local authority loan approvals and (ii) local authority loan drawdowns. Information up to Q1 2019 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

and this information will be updated on a quarterly basis as additional data is compiled.

Social and Affordable Housing Data

Question No. 2986 answered with Question No. 2953.

Question No. 2987 answered with Question No. 2852.

Ceisteanna (2985)

Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire

Ceist:

2985. Deputy Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the Rebuilding Ireland target for new social housing builds, acquisitions and voids brought back into use for Cork city and county councils for 2019. [34533/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Details in relation to 2019 social housing build and acquisition targets, on a local authority basis, under Rebuilding Ireland, can be found on the Rebuilding Ireland website at the following link: http://rebuildingireland.ie/news/social-housing-targets-2019/.

Progress against these targets is reflected on a quarterly basis and details are published on my Department's website at the following link:

https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordable/overall-social-housing-provision.

Voids are included within the overall build target for each local authority. The 2019 voids targets (capped under Rebuilding Ireland) for Cork City and Cork County are as follows:

2019 Voids Target

Cork City

21

Cork County

19

Additional voids beyond these targets will be considered for funding in the context of 2019 allocations to be announced shortly.

Question No. 2986 answered with Question No. 2953.
Question No. 2987 answered with Question No. 2852.

Housing Adaptation Grant Data

Ceisteanna (2988)

Aindrias Moynihan

Ceist:

2988. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount of funding allocated to both Cork city and county councils for DPG works on their housing stock in 2019 and for each of the past five years in tabular form; the amount of this funding the local authorities drew down; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34537/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

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. 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.

Details of the allocations and funding recouped to both Cork City and County Councils from 2014 to date in 2019, are outlined in the following table.

Year

Cork City

Cork County

Allocation (90% of works)

Funding provided

Allocation (90% of works)

Funding provided

2019

€ 2,000,000

€0

€ 1,000,000

€ 43,474

2018

€ 1,291,171

€ 1,971,353

€ 740,601

€ 2,024,062

2017

€ 613,296

€ 2,521,106

€ 811.365

€ 845,634

2016

€ 321,644

€ 1,046,295

€ 728,238

€ 658,971

2015

€ 554,019

€ 561,058

€ 538,493

€ 423,045

2014

€ 361,204

€ 313,378

€ 359,437

€ 490,998

Climate Change Policy

Ceisteanna (2989)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

2989. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the way in which he plans to meet the targets of the Climate Action Plan 2019 with regard to retrofitting; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34583/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I have engaged proactively with my colleague, the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, on the preparation of the new All of Government Plan to Tackle Climate Breakdown. In particular, we have worked together with regard to the built environment and on driving a number of actions that will contribute to energy efficient housing. While policy in relation to the retrofitting of existing dwellings falls within the remit of the Minister of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, my Department supports this critical work in a number of ways.

Responsibility for setting energy performance standards for new homes and those undergoing major renovation rests with my Department. The regulations to implement the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive for dwellings were signed in May of this year. The Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) requirement will apply to new dwellings commencing construction from the 1 November 2019. The Directive also requires that in cases where buildings are undergoing major renovation and where more than 25% of the surface area of a building is being renovated, that the whole building should be brought to a cost optimal performance or the equivalent of a B2 energy rating.

With regard to social housing, the Energy Efficiency Programme has operated since 2013 and has seen over 68,000 social homes retrofitted to date, with funding support from my Department of some €128 million. The programme is designed to improve the insulation standards and overall energy performance of local authority housing stock. Support under this programme is continuing, with €25 million earmarked for 2019.

The Programme is implemented in two phases: Phase 1, which is classed as a shallow retrofit, aims to ensure that the entire social housing stock has, as a minimum, cavity wall and attic insulation while Phase 2 focuses on the fabric upgrade works to those dwellings with solid/hollow block wall construction and includes the provision of heating upgrades. This is deemed to be a more deep retrofit. In order to support the transition to deep retrofit, my Department has requested local authorities to achieve a 'B2' or equivalent building energy rating, when retrofitting their own housing stock.

Social and Affordable Housing

Ceisteanna (2990)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

2990. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the affordable housing scheme; the targets for affordable rentals and homes within the Dublin 8 and 12 divisions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34585/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

In June 2018, I commenced Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, which now places affordable housing on a statutory basis. The selection of particular local authority lands for development of homes that will be made available under the Affordable Purchase Scheme is, in the first instance, a matter for the relevant local authority.

One of the mechanisms available to local authorities to help them deliver affordable housing options is the Serviced Site Fund (SSF). Under the SSF, €310 million is being made available over a three year period, from 2019 to 2021, to support the delivery of infrastructure on local authority sites, which will in turn help provide for the delivery of over 6,000 affordable homes to buy or rent.

The first call for proposals under the SSF in June 2018 aimed to provide funding opportunities to 11 local authorities where it was identified that the greatest affordability pressures exist. This included all of the Dublin local authorities. I issued approval in principle in December 2018 for funding for 10 infrastructure projects in Dublin and Cork with €43 million funding, which will support the delivery of 1,400 affordable homes. Details of these projects are set out in the Table below.

List of projects approved under 1st SSF call

LA

Project/Location

Total Provisional Cost of Proposal

Provisional Exchequer Grant Amount

Provisional LA Contribution

AffordableHousing Potential

Cork Co

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

Dub City

Cherry Orchard

€7,645,415

€6,804,419

€840,996

183

Dub City

Balbutcher, Ballymun

€4,135,351

€3,680,462

€454,889

74

Dub 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

1,410

The overall cost and timing of delivery for these projects is contingent upon the completion of planning and procurement in the first instance, and local authorities are working to achieve delivery as quickly as possible.

Following the first call under the SSF, and in order to target affordable interventions, local authorities were asked to complete financial/economic assessments of each of their sites to assess whether the provision of affordable homes is economically viable. Local authorities were also asked to assess the broader housing affordability within their area.

A second call for proposals under the SSF issued to 19 local authorities based on the aforementioned economic assessments. The closing date for submissions was 17 May 2019 and 31 submissions were received from 15 local authorities, including those in Dublin. These are currently being assessed by my Department and I intend to issue approvals under this second call in the coming weeks.

As part of the provision of affordable housing, a new Cost Rental initiative is being developed, under which the rents charged are limited to covering the cost of delivering, managing and maintaining the homes. It aims to offer moderate-income households the choice of a more affordable and stable form of rental tenure. A Cost Rental Working Group has been convened to develop an overall national policy and approach to delivery. The European Investment Bank has been engaged on a research project to support the Department in its work and help identify the optimum operational and financial model for Cost Rental in Ireland. In addition, the Department is co-ordinating with a number of bodies to progress Cost Rental delivery, including the Land Development Agency (LDA), which is examining the potential to deliver Cost Rental homes at scale from its land portfolio and the broader State land bank.

There are currently two cost rental ‘pathfinder’ pilot projects; one of which is the Dublin City Council-owned site at St. Michael’s Estate, Emmet Road, Inchicore, Dublin 8. It is estimated that this site can accommodate approximately 470 homes in a high quality mixed-tenure development. The current tenure mix proposed is 70% cost rental and 30% social homes. Dublin City Council have advised me that the Urban Design Framework Plan for this site is currently at a very advanced stage. Once this is finalised, the Council will submit their Stage 1 application for approval. Following this, an integrated design team will be procured. The second 'pathfinder' project is located at Enniskerry Road, in Dún Laoghaire Rathdown; this will provide 50 cost rental homes in an overall project of over 150 homes, which recently commenced construction.

These schemes will complement other key Government affordability initiatives, such as the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan and the Help to Buy Scheme, which have supported some 13,000 households.

Home Loan Scheme

Ceisteanna (2991)

Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Ceist:

2991. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of Rebuilding Ireland home loans approved and drawn down in south central areas of Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34587/19]

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 1 2019, including in relation to number and value of mortgage drawdowns, broken down by local authority, 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.

Information regarding approvals and draw-downs at the level of constituent area within a local authority area is not available in my Department.