Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Ceisteanna (633)

Brendan Smith


633. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if additional funding will be provided for the housing voids programme in 2020; if he will reduce the local contribution demand on local authorities to source such funding in view of the constrained financial circumstances for many local authorities; his plans to ensure that adequate funding is provided to local authorities to ensure that vacant council houses are brought back to habitable standards with the minimum delay in view of the demand for social housing and long waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50180/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The management and maintenance of local authority housing stock, including pre-letting repairs to vacant properties, the implementation of a planned maintenance programme and carrying out of responsive repairs, are matters for each individual local authority under the Housing Acts.

Exchequer funding is also provided through my Department's Voids Programme to support local authorities in preparing vacant units for re-letting. This funding is to ensure that vacant units are actively targeted, with minimal turnaround and re-let time and to allow insulation retrofitting to be undertaken.

My Department will continue to support local authorities in their work in this area and, for example, in 2019 some €27.3 million has already been approved for the Voids Programme. However, there is a commitment under Rebuilding Ireland that local authorities will introduce a preventative maintenance approach to the management of their housing stock and it is logical that this will be significantly funded by the rental income from that same housing stock. My Department is in discussions on this with the City & County Management Association on behalf of the local authorities. In line with their statutory responsibilities, it is important that all local authorities, including elected Councillors, make appropriate funding provision for such work to their housing stock using their rental income which, alongside Voids Programme funding, will ensure quick re-letting of vacated housing and the adequate maintenance of all local authority housing stock.