I propose to take Questions Nos. 8 and 66 together.
As the Deputy rightly stated, the programme for Government committed to establishing a commission on housing. The Deputy was central to those negotiations. It is in the programme for Government. The commission will examine issues such as tenure, standards, sustainability and quality-of-life issues in the provision of housing, which is really important, and will take a longer-term view on matters. The programme for Government also commits to holding a referendum on housing and we are going to do that.
Housing for All, which was agreed by the three Government parties and published in September 2021, commits to the establishment of a commission on housing, with the timeline being this quarter, that is, quarter 4 of 2021. It notes that the commission will work on the referendum on housing, which it will. The establishment of the commission presents an opportunity to build on the policies set out in Housing for All, taking a long-term strategic view on these aspects of housing over an extended time horizon, as well as the issues identified as being suitable for in-depth examination. I envisaged that the commission would bring together experts from various housing-related sectors and play a role in the State achieving good quality, affordable homes for all, which is what we want.
The chairman designate whom I have appointed to the commission is Mr. John O'Connor, an eminently qualified and well respected public servant with decades of experience in housing. I announced his appointment in May. The draft terms of reference have been prepared by me and the chairman. I have been directly involved in that regard. The necessary administrative arrangements for setting up the commission, which relate to the staff needed to support it, have also been progressed. A memorandum for Government seeking approval to establish the commission with the terms of reference has been circulated to other Departments to get observations and with the intention that I will bring the memorandum to Cabinet in the coming weeks, as I will do. I will then be in a position to publish the terms of reference and speak further about the intended process for appointing members.
The plan is for the commission to work to bring forward proposals on the referendum on housing that I mentioned. The commission will establish a sub-committee with appropriate expertise to examine the complex constitutional questions arising and examine the various proposals that have been made in respect of potential wording for an amendment to the Constitution. It will advise the Government in an independent and objective manner with regard to the critical factors for consideration and will make recommendations to me as appropriate on the wording. The commission will be established as planned in quarter 4, before the end of the year, once its terms of reference and membership have been finalised. It is a really important step forward for the country and the Government and we are seeing another commitment we made in the programme for Government being met.