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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 1200-1222
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Maintenance
 Header Item Water Services Infrastructure
 Header Item Water Services Infrastructure
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing
 Header Item Local Authority Housing Funding
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing Provision
 Header Item Planning Guidelines
 Header Item Water Services Infrastructure
 Header Item Water and Sewerage Schemes
 Header Item Wind Energy Guidelines
 Header Item Septic Tank Grants
 Header Item Pyrite Issues
 Header Item Planning Issues
 Header Item Homeless Accommodation Funding
 Header Item Water Services Infrastructure
 Header Item Foreshore Licence Applications
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing Data
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing Data
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing Data

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 992 No. 2

First Page Previous Page Page of 112 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 1200-1222

Local Authority Housing Maintenance

 1200. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if additional funding will be provided in 2020 to local authorities for the housing voids programme in view of the need to eliminate delays in the allocation of vacant council houses; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2957/20]

 1201. Deputy Brendan Smith Information on Brendan Smith Zoom on Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if additional funding will be allocated to Cavan County Council in 2020 for the housing voids programme to ensure the minimum delay in allocating vacant council houses which need upgrading; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2958/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I propose to take Questions Nos. 1200 and 1201 together.

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 Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966.

Since 2014, Exchequer funding has also been provided through my Department's Voids Programme to support local authorities in preparing vacant units for re-letting. This funding was introduced originally to tackle long term vacant units and is now targeted to ensure minimal turnaround and re-let times for local authority vacant stock. During 2019, expenditure of some €26.6 million was recouped by local authorities under the Voids Programme.

My Department will continue to support local authorities in their work in this area. There is however 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 local authorities.

In relation to Cavan County Council, the local authority has received €1.65 million of funding from 2014 to 2019, resulting in 137 units being returned to use. While my Department will examine proposals from Cavan County Council under the voids programme in 2020, it would be of concern if there is any reduction in the local authority housing maintenance budgets and resultant capacity to maintain housing stock. The support of elected members for adequate budgetary provision for this important work will ensure quick re-letting of vacant housing and the adequate maintenance of all local authority housing stock.

Water Services Infrastructure

 1202. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if Donegal County Council is one of the 19 authorities which have made an application under the programme for support relating to the taking in charge of housing estates; if the expert panel has made its recommendations on the suitability of projects under the programme for support; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2984/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy In July 2019 my Department launched the multi-annual Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure Resolution Programme 2019-2021.  Bids were sought from local authorities for funding under the programme. The closing date for bids was 18 September 2019.  A total number of 19 local authorities with Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure in estates in their areas made applications for funding. 

Donegal County Council has made 45 applications to my Department under the new programme.

My Department has completed a preliminary evaluation and clarification process on the bids received from the local authorities. The Expert Panel, which includes Departmental, stakeholder and independent representation in the Chair, has been appointed.  The Panel will have its first meeting on 19 March 2020 and further meetings as necessary will follow.   

The Expert Panel will make recommendations to me on the suitability of projects for funding under the programme. This will be based on criteria set out in the Framework document issued to local authorities when requesting proposals. The Panel will report to my Department when their examination of the bids is concluded. I expect to be in a position to make an announcement on approvals and allocations once that process is concluded and has been considered in Q2 2020.

Water Services Infrastructure

 1203. Deputy Charlie McConalogue Information on Charlie McConalogue Zoom on Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy further to Parliamentary Question No. 577 of 12 November 2019, the progress to date in the taking in charge of housing developments with stand-alone treatment plants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2987/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy In July 2019 my Department launched the multi-annual Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure Resolution Programme 2019-2021. Bids were sought from local authorities for funding under the programme. The closing date was 18 September 2019.  A total of number of 19 local authorities with Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure in estates in their areas made applications under the programme for support.

My Department has completed a preliminary evaluation and clarification process on the bids received from the local authorities.  The Expert Panel, which includes Departmental, stakeholder and independent representation in the Chair, has been appointed.  The Panel will have its first meeting on 19 March 2020 and further meetings as necessary will follow.   

The Expert Panel will make recommendations to me on the suitability of projects for funding under the programme. This will be based on criteria set out in the Framework document issued to local authorities when requesting proposals. The Panel will report to my Department when their examination of the bids is concluded. I expect to be in a position to make an announcement on approvals and allocations once that process is concluded and has been considered in Q2 2020. 

Social and Affordable Housing

 1204. Deputy Seán Haughey Information on Seán Haughey Zoom on Seán Haughey asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if it will be ensured that Dublin City Council puts an affordable housing scheme in place having regard to sites that are earmarked for such housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2997/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy Land utilisation and activation is, in the first instance, a matter for the local authority and its elected members including the development of its land for the delivery of more affordable private housing. Furthermore, whilst my Department is supporting Dublin City Council, and indeed other local authorities in their plans to provide more affordable housing on their lands, it is, ultimately, the responsibility of the each respective Council and their elected members to progress such schemes.

  Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 which covers Affordable Dwelling Purchase Arrangements, was commenced in June 2018.  This now provides the statutory basis for the delivery of affordable housing for purchase in the State.

  Under these provisions, I signed regulations in respect of the making of a Scheme of Priority on 12 March 2019, and these were issued to local authorities on 22 March 2019.  The purpose of a Scheme of Priority is to set out the affordable purchase arrangements at local authority level.  This includes the methodology that will be applied by local authorities to determine the order of priority to be accorded to eligible households where the demand for such affordable dwellings exceeds the number available.  I can confirm that Dublin City Council members agreed the Council's Scheme of Priority in May of 2019 and I approved this Scheme in early July 2019.

  In line with the legal requirements of the Affordable Dwelling Purchase Arrangements, further regulations will be put in place over the coming months regarding eligibility and other matters.

  In order to support local authorities in their delivery of discounted homes, Government has committed €310 million under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF).  The Fund is to provide facilitating infrastructure on local authority sites so that more affordable homes, either to buy or rent, can be delivered.  At a maximum amount of €50,000 per home, it is anticipated at least 6,200 more affordable homes can be provided. The SSF is being made available in areas where local authorities have demonstrated a requirement for affordable housing and a viability to deliver such housing on their sites.

  Full details of the projects approved under the 1st and 2nd SSF call for proposals, including those in Dublin City and County Council areas, is available at the following links: 

  https://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-approves-10-local-authority-sites-affordable-housing-serviced-sites-fund/.

  https://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-murphy-approves-funding-of-e84m-to-support-delivery-of-1770-affordable-homes-under-the-ssf/.

  It is intended to issue a further SSF call for proposals to local authorities later this year.

  As the Deputy will be aware, Dublin City Council is progressing with its plans for the delivery of affordable housing on its lands. Documentation available on the Council website, which was published in advance of the Council meeting of 2 March 2020, indicates a potential for 1,989 more affordable homes across 10 schemes.  In addition to this, there is a potential 1,275 cost rental units across 4 schemes. Details of the status and varying stages of these schemes can be found at the following link:

  https://councilmeetings.dublincity.ie/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=142&MId=3981&Ver=4.

Local Authority Housing Funding

 1205. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the discussions he has had on the redevelopment and insulation of Glovers Court flats, York Street, Dublin 2; and if funds will be allocated to Dublin City Council which will allow it to make the flats habitable for tenants. [3003/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy My Department works closely with all local authorities with a view to progressing any potential Social Housing projects.

  My Department has not yet received any application for funding in respect of Glovers Court flats in York St.

  However, I understand that Dublin City Council are currently procuring a design team to carry out a feasibility study on Glovers Court for the purposes of redevelopment. It is a matter for Dublin City Council to bring forward proposals for Department funding approval.

Social and Affordable Housing Provision

 1206. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if Galway County Council and Galway City Council can continue to purchase houses on the open market for the purposes of social housing in circumstances in which this is the most appropriate way of providing social housing in individual cases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3004/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy The acquisition of second hand properties for social housing purposes by local authorities, has always been a part of their delivery approaches. However, it has always been the case that such an approach needs to be used carefully, focusing on priority situations, with local authorities seeking to ensure that they do not interfere unduly with the local private market.  Local authorities should also be mindful of their construction programmes and those of AHBs; where these programmes are delivering new build social housing, this should be a priority rather than undertaking significant programmes of acquisitions.

This approach will continue into 2020 under Rebuilding Ireland and, in the case of Galway City and County Councils, it is particularly notable that their construction programmes for new social housing, are significantly higher for 2020 and 2021, compared with previous years.  It's important therefore, that the efforts and resources of the local authorities are focused more significantly on their construction programmes and that they continue to use acquisitions in line with the above approach, where appropriate for priority situations.

In locations where, for example, a new build approach is not envisaged for social housing delivery, I would encourage local authorities to acquire and refurbish properties that may be derelict or in need of upgrade. Programmes such as 'Repair & Lease' and 'Buy & Renew' support such work or local authorities may undertake a construction project to remediate older properties.

Planning Guidelines

 1207. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the status of a review of planning guidelines following the result of a court case (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3015/20]

 1247. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the status of the work of the working group on rural planning guidelines; when he expects the work of the group to conclude; and when he expects to be in a position to engage with the Houses of the Oireachtas and local authorities on new guidelines for county development plans post the 2019 local government elections to provide guidance on the issue. [3668/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I propose to take Questions Nos. 1207 and 1247 together.

Following engagement between the European Commission and my Department regarding the European Court of Justice ruling in the "Flemish Decree" case, a working group was established to review and, where necessary, recommend changes to the 2005 Planning Guidelines on Sustainable Rural Housing, issued under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended.  The working group comprises senior officials from the Planning Division of my Department and senior officials from the Planning Divisions of local authorities, nominated by the local government sector.

My Department is reviewing the Development Plan Guidelines for Planning Authorities, to update guidance in light of both legislative changes and the introduction of the National Planning Framework (NPF) and Regional Spatial and Economic Strategies. In line with the NPF objective 37, my Department is also working on guidance on preparation of Housing Need Demand Assessments, which will inform housing strategies and associated land use zoning policies.

In addition to reviewing the Development Plan Guidelines, my Department is reviewing whether to update the Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines for Planning Authorities or whether the update would be more appropriately reflected in new guidance on Sustainable Settlements. Such guidance would incorporate both the Sustainable Rural Housing Guidelines for Planning Authorities (2005) and the Guidelines for Planning Authorities on the Sustainable Residential Development in Urban Areas (2009), which encompasses towns and villages, to more appropriately reflect the range of areas and influences and the objectives of the NPF. 

Water Services Infrastructure

 1208. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy when the expert panel which will evaluate bids from local authorities under the multi-annual developer provided water services infrastructure resolution programme 2019-21 will be finalised; the timeframe for its work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3016/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy In July 2019 my Department launched the multi-annual Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure Resolution Programme 2019-2021. Bids were sought from local authorities for funding under the programme. The closing date was 18 September 2019.  A total of number of 19 local authorities with Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure in estates in their areas made applications under the programme for support.

My Department has completed a preliminary evaluation and clarification process on the bids received from the local authorities.  The Expert Panel, which includes Departmental, stakeholder and independent representation in the Chair, has been appointed.  The Panel will have its first meeting on 19 March 2020 and further meetings as necessary will follow.   

The Expert Panel will make recommendations to me on the suitability of projects for funding under the programme. This will be based on criteria set out in the Framework document issued to local authorities when requesting proposals. The Panel will report to my Department when their examination of the bids is concluded. I expect to be in a position to make an announcement on approvals and allocations once that process is concluded and has been considered in Q2 2020.

Water and Sewerage Schemes

 1209. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy when the increased payment for private domestic wells will be rolled out; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3017/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy In 2019, I announced details of the new Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021. This included an improved funding scheme for individual wells and work is at an advanced stage of development for this scheme. 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), or where the local authority agrees that the most appropriate solution is to provide a new well, a maximum grant of €5,000;

- Recognising the role of the grant in improving quality, the water 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.

I expect that the procedures for applying under this new scheme 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 circular letters, terms and conditions, guidance and the application forms to issue to local authorities.

Wind Energy Guidelines

 1210. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan Information on Aindrias Moynihan Zoom on Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if the updated guidelines for wind farms will include changes to the minimum distances from private residences; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3018/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy My Department is currently undertaking a focused review of the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines in line with the “preferred draft approach” which was announced in June 2017 by the then Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, in conjunction with the then Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment. The review is addressing a number of key aspects including sound or noise, visual amenity setback distances, shadow flicker, community obligation, community dividend and grid connections.

  As part of the overall review process, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is being undertaken on the revised Guidelines before they come into effect, in accordance with the requirements of European Union Directive 2001/24/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment, otherwise known as the SEA Directive. SEA is a process by which environmental considerations are required to be fully integrated into the preparation of plans and programmes which act as frameworks for development consent, prior to their final adoption, with public consultation as part of that process.

  As part of the SEA process, I launched a ten week public consultation on the draft revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines on 12 December 2019. The documents prepared for consultation are available on my Department's website at the following link: https://www.housing.gov.ie/guidelines/wind-energy/public-consultation-revised-wind-energy-development-guidelines. The consultation closed on 19 February 2020.

  Finalised Guidelines will be prepared following detailed analysis and consideration of the submissions received during the consultation phase, and the conclusion of the SEA process.

  When finalised, the revised Guidelines will be issued under section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended.  Planning authorities and, where applicable, An Bord Pleanála, must have regard to guidelines issued under section 28 in the performance of their functions generally under the Planning Acts. In the meantime, the current 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines remain in force.

  Question No. 1211 answered with Question No. 1189.

Septic Tank Grants

 1212. Deputy Denis Naughten Information on Denis Naughten Zoom on Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy when the new grant scheme to upgrade domestic septic tanks will be introduced; the reason for the delay in its introduction; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3096/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I approved a new funding scheme for on-site wastewater treatment systems (more commonly known as septic tanks) under the Multi-Annual Rural Water Programme 2019-2021 to replace the current grant which was brought into operation by the Domestic Waste Water Treatment System (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2013.  The grant scheme is also being expanded to support the attainment of water quality objectives in what are called ‘high status objective catchment’ water areas and ‘prioritised areas for action’, as identified in the River Basin Management Plan for Ireland 2018-2021.

In developing the necessary regulatory and administrative changes to underpin the revised and improved grants scheme, my Department has over recent months met and consulted with key stakeholders, including the County and City Management Association, the Local Authority Waters Programme Office and the Environmental Protection Agency.

My Department also required legal advice in relation to the drafting of the regulations which are required for the new grant scheme. I am advised that this process is almost complete and it is hoped to make an announcement on the commencement of the new scheme shortly.

Pyrite Issues

 1213. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the reason the proposed mica-pyrite scheme is so different from a similar scheme previously used in the Dublin and Leinster region; the reason there is a considerably larger contribution expected from homeowners who are not responsible for the situation that occurred; the requirements of the scheme in respect of those having to demolish their houses; if they have to apply to the local authority for planning permission to demolish and rebuild their property; if so, if there will be an exemption for local authority planning fees and contributions in view of the circumstances involved; the position that in the event of a rebuild the homeowner will be in a position to make the relevant BER upgrades; and the position regarding the operation of the scheme to date. [3150/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I made Regulations under sections 2 and 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1979, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to provide for 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. Dwellings Damaged by the Use of Defective Concrete Blocks in Construction (Remediation) (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2020.

  The regulations came into operation on 31 January 2020, and my Department is currently in the process of finalising guidelines, which will be available in the coming weeks, to promote and support a consistent approach to the operation and administration of the defective concrete blocks grant scheme by Donegal and Mayo County Councils. The aim now is to commence the receipt of applications without delay.

  The defective concrete blocks grant scheme is primarily a grant scheme of financial assistance to support affected homeowners to carry out the necessary remediation works to dwellings that have been damaged due to defective concrete blocks.  The scheme outlines five remedial options ranging from rebuilding on existing foundations to replacing of external walls. The maximum approved  costs per dwelling under the scheme range from €275,000 to €55,000 depending on the remedial option. A grant of 90% of the approved costs associated with the necessary remediation works, subject to a maximum for each remedial option, or 90% of the actual cost of the remedial works, whichever is the lesser, is available under the scheme.

  The scheme is targeted at assisting a restricted group of homeowners who have no other practicable options to access redress. It is not a compensation scheme and the regulations apply only in respect of qualifying works that have not commenced prior to confirmation of grant approval being issued in respect of a dwelling by the relevant local authority. Homeowners cannot seek the recoupment of costs associated with the remediation of a dwelling undertaken either prior to the commencement, or outside, of the scheme. This is in line with how similar Government schemes operate or have operated in the past, where prior approval is a key eligibility requirement.

  Budget 2020 provides funding of €40 million to fund the operation of the pyrite remediation scheme and the defective concrete blocks grant scheme. Funding for future years will be agreed on an annual basis as part of the normal Estimates process and additional funding can be provided should it be required. Mindful that the scheme is being funded from the Exchequer the scope of the scheme cannot be open ended. The funding available must be used prudently to achieve the most efficient and cost effective outcomes.

  Separately, the Pyrite Resolution Act 2013, provides the statutory framework for the establishment of the Pyrite Resolution Board and for the making of a pyrite remediation scheme to be implemented by the Board with support from the Housing Agency. The pyrite remediation scheme was first adopted in February 2014.

  While the Act provides that the scheme can be amended, replaced or revoked, this can only be done in accordance with the scope of the Act. The provisions of the Act apply only to dwellings affected by significant damage attributable to pyritic heave consequent on the presence of reactive pyrite in the subfloor hardcore material and not to damage arising in any other circumstance, e.g. such as pyrite or mica in concrete blocks.

  The Pyrite Remediation Scheme is a scheme of “last resort” for affected homeowners who have no other practical option to obtain redress and is limited in its application and scope. The full conditions for eligibility under the scheme are set out in the scheme, which is available on the Board’s website, www.pyriteboard.ie.   

  In regard to planning permission and the defective concrete blocks grant scheme,  the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 (as amended), provide that “development” includes any associated demolition works. Consequently, the demolition and rebuild of affected dwellings will require planning permission. However, requirements regarding planning permission and contributions are ultimately a matter for the relevant planning authority, who are independent in the exercise of their statutory powers.

   Finally, the Building Regulations (as amended), apply to the construction of new buildings, extensions and material alterations to existing buildings. The five remedial options provided for under the defective concrete blocks grant scheme constitute a material alteration to an existing building.

  Any works that are beyond the requirements of the current building regulations for existing dwellings, or any works that are not required for or ancillary to the remediation of damage to the dwelling arising out of, or in connection with, the use of defective concrete blocks in its construction, while not prohibited, do not qualify for grant assistance under the scheme. In this context, energy upgrades beyond the requirements of the current building regulations for  existing dwellings, do not qualify for grant assistance under this scheme.

  Similarly, in line with Government policy on waste prevention and value for money considerations, the reuse, recovery and recycling of materials, is encouraged where possible. The costs associated with the unnecessary replacement of items such as windows, doors and kitchen units, do not qualify for grant assistance under this scheme.    

  The primary responsibility for compliance with the requirements of the building regulations rests with the designers, builders and owners of buildings.

Planning Issues

 1214. Deputy Dara Calleary Information on Dara Calleary Zoom on Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the status of a project (details supplied) in County Mayo; and the extra resources which will be made available to Mayo County Council to develop this project. [3151/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy On 30 May 2017, the Government designated 284 hectares of lands at Ireland West Airport Knock (IWAK) as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ) under Section 166 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended).

The preparation of a Planning Scheme in respect of an SDZ is a function of the relevant development agency, under Section 168 of the Act. 

On 29 May 2019, the specified development agency, in this case Mayo County Council, published the draft planning scheme for the SDZ for public consultation for six weeks, closing on 12 July 2019, in accordance with Section 169 of the Act.

The Chief Executive of the planning authority submitted a report on submissions and observations received during the consultation period for consideration by the Council and on 9 September 2019, the planning authority made the IWAK SDZ Planning Scheme. Further details are available on Mayo County Council's website at the following link: www.mayococo.ie.

Further to the making of the planning scheme, the planning authority must grant permission for any development which is consistent with the planning scheme, with no further appeal to An Bord Pleanála against the decision of the planning authority.

As the planning scheme has now been adopted, delivery of this project is a matter in the first instance for Mayo County Council, who may engage as necessary with relevant Departments/Agencies in relation to available capital programmes.

Homeless Accommodation Funding

 1215. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the funding allocated for homeless day services in 2019; and the regional breakdown of same. [3199/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy 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 emergency accommodation and related services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities.

My Department does not fund any homeless services directly but provides funding to housing authorities towards these costs.  Under the funding arrangements, housing authorities must provide at least 10% of the cost of services from their own resources.  Housing authorities may also incur additional expenditure on homeless related services outside of these funding arrangements with my Department.  Therefore, the exact spend by housing authorities on homeless services, as well as the types of services, are a matter for individual housing authorities in consultation with the Management Group of the relevant regional joint Homeless Consultative Forum.

Financial reports from each of the homeless regions, are published on my Department's website. These reports includes a breakdown of expenditure in each region.  The reports are available at the following link: https//www.housing.gov.ie/housing/homelessness/other/homelessness-data.  The financial reports for 2019 are currently being collated in my Department and will be published shortly.  

Water Services Infrastructure

 1216. Deputy Brendan Griffin Information on Brendan Griffin Zoom on Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy if a decision has been made on a developer provided infrastructure application for an estate (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3239/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy In July 2019 my Department launched the multi-annual Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure Resolution Programme 2019-2021.  Bids were sought from local authorities for funding under the programme. The closing date for bids was 18 September 2019.  A total number of 19 local authorities with Developer Provided Water Services Infrastructure in estates in their areas made applications for funding.  Kerry County Council included the estate listed in the details supplied in its application.

My Department has completed a preliminary evaluation and clarification process on the bids received from the local authorities. The Expert Panel, which includes Departmental, stakeholder and independent representation in the Chair, has been appointed.  The Panel will have its first meeting on 19 March 2020 and further meetings as necessary will follow.   

The Expert Panel will make recommendations to me on the suitability of projects for funding under the programme. This will be based on criteria set out in the Framework document issued to local authorities when requesting proposals. The Panel will report to my Department when their examination of the bids is concluded. I expect to be in a position to make an announcement on approvals and allocations once that process is concluded and has been considered in Q2 2020.

Foreshore Licence Applications

 1217. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív Information on Éamon Ó Cuív Zoom on Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy when a decision will be made on an application for a foreshore licence by a company (details supplied); the process by which issues raised during the public consultation relating to the licence will be dealt with, particularly issues affecting fisher persons and so on; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3246/20]

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Information on Damien English Zoom on Damien English Detail in relation to the processing of this application are available on my Department's website at the following link: https://www.housing.gov.ie/deep-sea-fibre-networks-ltd.

  It is not appropriate for me to comment in detail on an application that will come before me for determination, however, all submissions made during the public consultation phase will be considered prior to the determination of the application. 

Social and Affordable Housing Data

 1218. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the average construction costs and all-in development costs for one, two, three and four bedroom social houses and one, two and three bedroom social apartments delivered under the SHIP programme in 2019, in tabular form. [3258/20]

 1248. Deputy Joan Collins Information on Joan Collins Zoom on Joan Collins asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the updated cost of building a one, two and three bedroom public unit on public land. [3703/20]

 1251. Deputy Thomas Pringle Information on Thomas Pringle Zoom on Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the estimated cost of provision of a house through the State both with and without land cost included; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3871/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I propose to take Questions Nos. 1218, 1248 and 1251 together.

  There are a number of variables involved in estimating the cost of providing social housing homes, such as the form of delivery, size of unit, land, funding, etc. In terms of construction and 'all-in' costs, the averages as sought for the various sized units, based on full capital costs, are set out in the following tables.

Houses
1 bed
2 bed(1 storey)
2 bed(2 storey)
3 bed
4 bed
Construction €155,818 €165,132 €174,206 €184,685 €199,491
All-in-Cost €201,359 €212,624 €222,582 €234,571 €252,047
Apartments
1 bed
2 bed
3 bed
Construction €174,159 €189,112 €209,482
All-in-Cost €225,082 €243,476 €267,629


  The above figures are based on returned data from tendered social housing schemes over an extended period. ‘Construction’ cost is reflective of building costs (including VAT) and also includes normal site works and site development. ‘All-in-Cost’ includes cost of construction, land cost, professional fees, utility connections, site investigations/surveys, archaeology where appropriate, VAT and contribution to public art. Abnormal costs are excluded from these figures.

Social and Affordable Housing Data

 1219. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the number of Part V social housing units delivered by each local authority in 2020, by local authority; and the average cost by local authority, in tabular form. [3259/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy My Department collects and collates national statistics on the delivery of social housing on a quarterly basis, including Part V delivery. This data is provided by the 31 local authorities as the lead delivery agents and are then validated by the Statistics Unit in my Department.

  The latest statistics published cover Quarter 3 2019. The following link shows activity in the area of Part V since 2014:

  www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/attachments/part_v_output_by_area_2014-to-date.xlsx.

  Details in relation to Part V in the context of overall social housing delivery 2019 under Rebuilding Ireland, are available on my Department's website at the following link:

  www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/attachments/social_housing_output_overviewbyarea-to-date.xlsx.

  Validation for Quarter 4 2019 is currently underway and will be available in due course. A unit cost analysis will be completed once the delivery outputs are finalised.

Social and Affordable Housing Data

 1220. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the number of new long-term leases delivered by each local authority in 2020; and the average cost per year for each local authority in tabular form. [3260/20]

 1221. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the annual cost by local authority for all long-term leased social housing; the person or body that will own the units at the end of the lease term, that is, local authority, approved housing body, NARPS and private owner, in tabular form. [3261/20]

 1222. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy the number of social housing units leased from NARPS; the cost per year of the leases since the leases were signed; the length of the leases; and the ownership of the units when the lease term expires. [3262/20]

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Information on Eoghan Murphy Zoom on Eoghan Murphy I propose to take Questions Nos. 1220 to 1222, inclusive, together.

  Of the 50,000 social housing homes to be delivered under Rebuilding Ireland, over 10,000 homes are targeted to be leased by local authorities and approved housing bodies under leasing arrangements from a range of different sources, including direct leasing by local authorities and approved housing bodies, rental availability agreements, the Repair and Leasing Scheme, the Mortgage to Rent Scheme and Enhanced Leasing.  The exact blend of delivery under leasing in any given year will depend on the availability of existing stock and new homes in particular. Leasing is funded under the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP), which also meets the current costs of dwellings delivered by approved housing bodies under the CALF and Housing Agency Acquisitions Programmes.

  Data in relation to the number of homes leased in 2020 will be collated and published on my Department's website on a quarterly basis throughout 2020.

  The annual cost in 2019 for leased homes, by local authority, is set out in the following Table.

  Table: Total Spend for Leased Homes 2019

Local Authority Annual Cost
CARLOW COUNTY COUNCIL €787,285
CAVAN COUNTY COUNCIL €264,679
CLARE COUNTY COUNCIL €2,523,082
CORK CITY COUNCIL €3,235,170
CORK COUNTY COUNCIL €2,877,463
DLR COUNTY COUNCIL €1,469,177
DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL €1,805,224
DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL €7,792,948
FINGAL COUNTY COUNCIL €6,268,286
GALWAY CITY COUNCIL €1,701,391
GALWAY COUNTY COUNCIL €539,906
KERRY COUNTY COUNCIL €2,406,714
KILDARE COUNTY COUNCIL €1,965,121
KILKENNY COUNTY COUNCIL €689,628
LAOIS COUNTY COUNCIL €1,357,036
LEITRIM COUNTY COUNCIL €83,750
LIMERICK CITY & COUNTY COUNCIL €1,409,179
LONGFORD COUNTY COUNCIL €688,209
LOUTH COUNTY COUNCIL €3,374,329
MAYO COUNTY COUNCIL €1,323,481
MEATH COUNTY COUNCIL €1,319,144
MONAGHAN COUNTY COUNCIL €343,280
OFFALY COUNTY COUNCIL €1,796,437
ROSCOMMON COUNTY COUNCIL €146,810
SLIGO COUNTY COUNCIL €529,851
SOUTH DUBLIN COUNTY COUNCIL €7,297,839
TIPPERARY COUNTY COUNCIL €2,543,599
WATERFORD CITY & COUNTY COUNCIL €1,807,967
WESTMEATH COUNTY COUNCIL €2,403,545
WEXFORD COUNTY COUNCIL €1,588,343
WICKLOW COUNTY COUNCIL €573,817
Grand Total €62,912,690


  A total of 8,430 homes were operational under the leasing programme at end 2019. Of this number, 4,580 (54%) will be owned by private owners at the end of the lease term; 553 (7%) will be owned by AHBs, 1,254 (15%) will be owned by NARPS and 2,043 (24%) will be owned by local authorities. 

  NAMA has established a special purpose vehicle (National Asset Residential Property Services Limited ‘NARPS’), to take ownership of properties where there is an established demand and then lease them long-term to an Approved Housing Body (AHB) or local authority. Information in relation to the number of leases broken down by AHB and local authority, are available on the NAMA website (updated to End-December 2019), at the following link:  https://www.nama.ie/our-work/social-initiatives/social-housing.

  All NARPS leases are 20 years and 9 months in duration. The total cost of NARPS leases in 2019 was €11,116,511; the total cost in 2018 was €12,126,909. Leasing costs prior to 2018 are available on a cumulative basis only and as such, it is not possible to give a breakdown of the cost of NARPS leases before that date. The ownership of the properties remains with NARPS at the expiration of the lease term.

  All data is based on local authority claims for operational agreements recorded on the Department's SHCEP financial management system. Any variations in data between operational figures and total output under leasing delivery streams is due to the time lag in the submission of claims to my Department in respect of new claims after delivery.


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