Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 38-44
 Header Item Homeless Persons Supports
 Header Item Leader Programmes Funding
 Header Item Fire Service Issues
 Header Item Leader Programmes Funding
 Header Item Housing Issues
 Header Item Irish Water Expenditure
 Header Item Property Taxation Application

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 806 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 95 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 38-44

Homeless Persons Supports

 38. Deputy Dessie Ellis Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if his attention has been drawn to the recent report from Dublin Region Homeless Agency on the number of persons sleeping rough in the city; his plans to address the growth in these numbers and to provide sufficient emergency accommodation spaces; and his Department's short, middle and long-term targets in relation to this issue. [27052/13]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan The stubbornly high number of rough sleepers recently reported for Dublin reflects the significant challenge facing the Government, the voluntary sector and other agencies in tackling homelessness.

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 accommodation and related services for homeless persons rests with the housing authorities. Expenditure on homeless accommodation and related services of approximately €50 million will be funded by my Department and housing   authorities in 2013. While it is clear that a proportion of funding must be used to provide sufficient bed capacity to accommodate those in need of emergency accommodation it is equally important that resources are channelled to deliver more permanent responses in a more focused and strategic way.

  When I published the Homelessness Policy Statement, I outlined the Government's aim to end long-term homelessness by the end of 2016. The statement emphasises a housing-led approach which is about accessing permanent housing as the primary response to all forms of homelessness. The availability and supply of secure, affordable and adequate housing is essential in ensuring sustainable tenancies and ending long-term homelessness. A set of indicators will be used to demonstrate the dynamics of homelessness as it is addressed.   These indicators will give a clearer picture of homelessness in Ireland and, in quantifying its on-going extent, will support the bringing forward of realistic and practical solutions.

  The arrangements for devolving homelessness funding to the lead housing authority in each of the 9 regions in 2013 will seek to ensure that the measures being pursued by housing authorities reflect the housing-led approach, that actions are in place towards achieving the target of ending long-term homelessness by the end of 2016 and that evidence to support progress will be presented through the reports on the indicators.

Leader Programmes Funding

 39. Deputy Seán Kyne Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if, in the context of the recent LEADER programme funding allocations, his attention has been drawn to the disparity of the new allocation of moneys to Comhar na nOileain Teoranta for Connemara and all Gaeltacht regions from the original allocation to Meitheal Forbatha na Gaeltachta Teoranta; and the steps that will be taken to ensure the communities served by Comhar na nOileáin Teo do not lose out on account of the delay in putting in place a new administration brought about by the legal complexities arising from the collapse of MFG. [28079/13]

 64. Deputy Seán Kyne Information on Seán Kyne Zoom on Seán Kyne asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if Gaeltacht areas will be prioritised in the review of LEADER funding in August to take account of the inability of LEADER applications to be processed for communities located in Gaeltacht areas during the time consumed in winding up MFG and appointing a new administrative body. [28080/13]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan I propose to take Questions Nos. 39 and 64 together.

My Department recently completed a full review of expenditure under the LEADER elements of the Rural Development Programme 2007-2013 in order to apportion the remaining funding among all the Local Development Companies (LDCs) contracted to deliver the Programme. My Department used the LDCs' original percentage of the Programme to allocate the remaining funding. In the case of Meitheal Forbartha na Gaeltachta (MFG) this would have amounted to some €3.8 million. My Department, however, provided €6 million specifically for the Gaeltacht areas formerly served by MFG. Comhar na nOileán Teoranta has been allocated a total of €2,122,427 to fund both MFG legacy files and new projects. This equates to more than 35% of the total revised national allocation for Gaeltacht areas. My Department has undertaken to review the level of uncommitted monies in all LDCs in Autumn 2013. If there is funding to be reallocated, due consideration will be given to Gaeltacht areas in that regard.

Fire Service Issues

 40. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn Information on Pádraig MacLochlainn Zoom on Pádraig MacLochlainn asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will outline in tabular form the funding his Department allocated to each local authority for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and to date in 2013 for their respective fire service. [28064/13]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan The provision of a fire service in its functional area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs, the provision of a premises and the making of such other provisions as it considers necessary or desirable, is a statutory function of individual fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Act 1981.

  My Department supports fire authorities through the setting of general policy and guidance, and the provision of capital funding, including the recoupment (within the overall funding available) of costs incurred by fire authorities in relation to the approved purchase of fire appliances and emergency equipment as well as construction and upgrading of fire stations. Continued investment in the fire appliance fleet has been identified as a key national priority for the available capital funds.

  The following table details funding allocated to each Local Authority by year from 2009 to date:

Fire Authority
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013 to date
Cumulative
Athlone Town Council
€0
€0
€0
€0
€0
€0
Carlow County Council
€205,509
€89,421
€271,863
€345,252
€49,774
€961,819
Cavan County Council
€589,072
€751,785
€315,689
€95,883
€0
€1,752,429
Clare County Council
€2,012,619
€692,365
€852,194
€0
€16,504
€3,573,682
Cork City Council
€459,071
€196,412
€313,335
€0
€0
€968,818
Cork County Council
€1,150,287
€1,355,710
€349,899
€627,597
€555,091
€4,038,584
Donegal County Council
€425,457
€1,185,592
€219,304
€219,998
€0
€2,050,351
Drogheda Corporation
€103,500
€634,357
€69,797
€0
€21,284
€828,938
Dublin City Council
€3,580,888
€1,096,167
€389,697
€512,807
€106,552
€5,686,111
Dundalk Town Council
€130,000
€0
€204,448
€18,500
€0
€352,948
Dunlaoghaire/Rathdown County Council
€0
€0
€0
€40,000
€0
€40,000
Fingal County Council
€0
€0
€0
€40,000
€0
€40,000
Galway County Council*
€946,710
€680,207
€935,795
€878,221
€0
€3,440,933
Kerry County Council
€179,301
€308,344
€358,414
€76,255
€0
€922,314
Kildare County Council
€0
€1,796,426
€0
€633,067
€0
€2,429,493
Kilkenny County Council
€880,323
€838,854
€654,923
€55,406
€0
€2,429,506
Laois County Council
€948,577
€366,522
€192,356
€5,380
€0
€1,512,835
Leitrim County Council
€462,323
€522,653
€69,868
€71,156
€0
€1,126,000
Limerick City Council
€94,921
€125,317
€567,690
€284,979
€0
€1,072,907
Limerick County Council
€227,468
€1,747,827
€224,854
€160,609
€0
€2,360,758
Longford County Council
€414,713
€833,971
€407,400
€119,032
€0
€1,775,116
Louth County Council
€0
€161,402
€48,414
€16,781
€98,383
€324,980
Mayo County Council
€150,695
€538,847
€403,237
€87,201
€24,905
€1,204,885
Meath County Council
€264,392
€754,644
€179,712
€171,282
€0
€1,370,030
Monaghan County Council
€624,604
€955,678
€2,135,098
€240,626
€0
€3,956,006
Offaly County Council
€412,649
€165,383
€136,591
€43,072
€0
€757,695
Roscommon County Council
€523,457
€295,088
€455,012
€156,925
€0
€1,430,482
Sligo County Council
€408,913
€609,773
€1,052,349
€84,961
€0
€2,155,996
Tipp. North County Council
€1,105,672
€170,800
€306,941
€4,360
€5,000
€1,592,773
Tipp. South County Council
€832,854
€85,100
€409,506
€33,165
€0
€1,360,625
Waterford City Council
€86,608
€401,855
€0
€22,656
€0
€511,119
Waterford County Council
€1,122,601
€497,143
€93,482
€70,058
€0
€1,783,284
Westmeath County Council
€667,011
€198,946
€18,755
€23,063
€0
€907,775
Wexford County Council
€484,515
€334,701
€440,271
€91,376
€0
€1,350,863
Wicklow County Council
€1,005,290
€308,710
€173,106
€560,142
€130,728
€2,177,976
Total
€20,500,000
€18,700,000
€12,250,000
€5,789,810
€1,008,221
€58,248,031


*Includes Galway City.

Leader Programmes Funding

 41. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the number of LEADER projects of more than €150,000 that are awaiting his approval; the date each project was submitted to his Department; the total value of the projects involved; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28062/13]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan Funding of approximately €370 million is available under the Rural Development Programme (RDP) 2007-2013 for allocation to qualifying projects up to the end of 2013. There are 35 Local Action Groups (LAGs) contracted, on my Department’s behalf, to deliver the RDP throughout the country and these groups are the principal decision-makers in relation to the allocation of project funding. Such decisions are made in the context of the local development strategy of the individual groups and in line with Departmental operating rules and EU regulations.

  Projects that request funding of €150,000 or more are required to seek final approval from my Department. The assessment of these higher value projects usually involves detailed consultations between my Department and the relevant local development company. It frequently necessitates the provision of further documentation or clarifications. It may also, in some instances, result in modifications to the project proposed to ensure best value for money and compliance with all the necessary regulations, both national and European, governing the activities funded under the programme.

  The policy in my Department is to work with the LAGs to ensure that the projects submitted are fully compliant and can be approved rather than to refuse approval for funding; it can therefore take some time to come to a final conclusion. My Department will continue to work with the relevant LAGs to make a full assessment of the eligibility of these projects and will advise the LAGs once all queries have been addressed satisfactorily. My Department currently has 44 projects at various stages of assessment to the value of €11. 5 million.

LAG
Date Received
Grant aid requested
Status
Cavan-Monaghan LEADER
05-Jun-13
€177,517.61
Under Assessment
Clare Local Development Company Ltd.
18-Jan-13
€200,000.00
Under Assessment
Clare Local Development Company Ltd
20-May -13
€185,000.00
Under Assessment
Comhar na nOileán Teoranta
30-May-13
€182,599.35
Under Assessment
Comhar na nOileán Teoranta
07-Jun-13
€200,000.00
Under Assessment
Donegal Local Development Company Ltd.
18-Apr-13
€200,000.00
Under Assessment
Fingal LEADER Partnership Co
30-Oct-12
€493,385.02
Under Assessment
FORUM Connemara Ltd
23-Aug-12
€431,887.50
Under Assessment
FORUM Connemara Ltd.
11-Feb-13
€324,766.19
Under Assessment
County Kildare LEADER Partnership
01-Mar-13
€200,000.00
Awaiting Information
County Kildare LEADER Partnership
03-May-13
€356,450.24
Awaiting information
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
04-Dec-12
€300,000.00
Under Assessment
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
04-Dec-12
€268,125.00
Under Assessment
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
16-Jan-13
€497,212.87
Awaiting information
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
12-Jan-13
€200,000.00
Awaiting information
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
03-Apr-13
€205,867.43
Under Assessment
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
05-Nov-12
€428,868.75
Awaiting information
Kilkenny Leader Partnership
16-Jan-13
€225,000.00
Awaiting information
Kilkenny Leader Partnership
16-Jan-13
€255,384.18
Awaiting information
Kilkenny LEADER Partnership
03-May-13
€169,237.50
Under Assessment
Leitrim Integrated Development Co Ltd
20-Feb-13
€376,641.00
Under Assessment
Mayo North East LEADER Partnership
03-Oct-12
€194,725.50
Under Assessment
Mayo North East LEADER Partnership
03-Nov-11
€196,386.75
Under Assessment
Meath Community Rural and Social Dev.
19-Mar-13
€196,934.79
Awaiting information
North Tipperary LEADER Partnership
16-Jul-12
€407,675.25
Under Assessment
North Tipperary LEADER Partnership
18-Jan-13
€199,993.63
Awaiting information
Roscommon Integrated Development Co
27-Feb-13
€196,925.00
Under Assessment
Roscommon Integrated Development Co
13-May-13
€172,092.85
Under Assessment
South and East Cork Area Dev Ltd.
28-Nov-12
€500,000.00
Awaiting information
South and East Cork Area Dev Ltd.
13-Mar-13
€330,000.00
Awaiting information
South Kerry Development Ltd.
21-Dec-12
€500,000.00
Awaiting information
South Kerry Development Ltd.
25-Jan-13
€168,392.50
Under Assessment
South Kerry Development Ltd.
25-Feb-13
€194,538.96
Under Assessment
South West Mayo Development Company
24-Jan-13
€196,911.00
Awaiting information
South West Mayo Development Company
21-Dec-12
€200,000.00
Awaiting information
Waterford LEADER Partnership Ltd.
01-Mar-13
€183,310.00
Under Assessment
Waterford LEADER Partnership Ltd.
12-Mar-13
€198,624.04
Under Assessment
Waterford LEADER Partnership Ltd.
14-Mar-13
€154,927.50
Under Assessment
Waterford LEADER Partnership Ltd.
10-Apr-13
€200,000.00
Awaiting Assessment
West Cork Development Partnership Ltd.
11-Mar-13
€194,400.00
Under Assessment
West Limerick Resources Ltd
21-Dec-12
€196,313.77
Under Assessment
West Limerick Resources Ltd
26-Feb-13
€200,000.00
Under Assessment
Westmeath Community Development Ltd
27-Mar-13
€461,809.41
Under Assessment
Wexford Local Development
31-May-13
€193,383.86
Under Assessment

Housing Issues

 42. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he has met with the Department of Social Protection in relation to the development of a dedicated pathway as suggested by Focus Ireland to provide sufficient support to those under 25 years living in emergency accommodation to move to more stable and suitable housing. [27054/13]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan Neither I nor my Department have met with the Department of Social Protection in this regard and no such meeting has been proposed.

Irish Water Expenditure

 43. Deputy Brian Stanley Information on Brian Stanley Zoom on Brian Stanley asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan if he will provide a detailed breakdown of the cost of establishing Irish Water, including wages, contracting out services and programme spending. [28063/13]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Fergus O'Dowd): Information on Fergus O'Dowd Zoom on Fergus O'Dowd The Water Sector Reform Implementation Strategy , which is published on my Department's website, is focused on ensuring that appropriate policy and legal frameworks are put in place for Irish Water and the water sector. A key objective is to rationalise the cost of the current service delivery and ensure more efficient operation of water services by moving from 34 water services authorities to a single body; following enactment of comprehensive legislation later this year, Irish Water will, therefore, become the water services authority from 1 January 2014.

  The implementation strategy is being rolled out under a range of work streams which involve local authority, Departmental and Bord Gáis personnel and using the range of skills and experience in these organisations. Bord Gáis are also engaged in an on-going process of seconding staff from local authorities and the Department to support work on the Irish Water programme. A process of direct recruitment has also commenced. External service providers, appointed by Bord Gáis by way of public procurement processes, will be involved in various aspects of the programme including company establishment, customer service and billing and the water metering programme. The Department is not providing funding to Bord Gáis for the establishment costs or the metering programme.

  It will be a matter for the Commission for Energy Regulation in due course to satisfy itself in relation to the appropriateness of costs incurred in the operation of Irish Water as part of the process of setting the tariffs for both the domestic and non-domestic sectors in the future. It is envisaged that the Commission will engage in public consultation as part of this process.

Property Taxation Application

 44. Deputy Peadar Tóibín Information on Peadar Tóibín Zoom on Peadar Tóibín asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Phil Hogan Zoom on Phil Hogan the way he expects local authorities to cover the cost of the local property tax on their social housing stock; and if he will issue a directive that local authority rents should not be raised as a result of the property tax bill. [27061/13]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O'Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan In accordance with section 58 of the Housing Act 1966, housing authorities are responsible for determining the rents of their dwellings, subject to complying with broad principles laid down by my Department, notably that the rent payable should be related to income and that low-income households should pay a lower proportion of income in rent. Within these parameters, it is a matter for housing authorities, as an integral part of their housing management functions, to ensure that their rental income reflects, as far as practicable, the cost of managing and maintaining their housing stock.

The current arrangements for determining local authority rents will be substantially replaced on the coming into force of section 31 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, which predates, and does not refer to, the Local Property Tax legislation. On enactment of the Housing (Amendment) Bill 2013 currently before the House, I will be arranging to make regulations under section 31 re-affirming the principle that rents should be related to household income and composition, and reflecting the requirement that housing authorities should set rent levels that take account, as far as practicable, of the cost of providing works and services to, and managing and maintaining, their rented accommodation. I intend to ask the Housing Agency to provide the relevant guidance to housing authorities to assist them in making their rent schemes to ensure that they comply with the these Regulations.


Last Updated: 29/04/2020 10:05:42 First Page Previous Page Page of 95 Next Page Last Page