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 Header Item Written Answers Nos. 118-142
 Header Item Departmental Data
 Header Item General Data Protection Regulation
 Header Item Garda Headquarters
 Header Item Grant Payments
 Header Item Departmental Funding
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Meath na Gaeltachta
 Header Item Covid-19 Pandemic
 Header Item Departmental Staff
 Header Item Tourism Funding
 Header Item Departmental Data
 Header Item General Data Protection Regulation
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing
 Header Item Local Authority Housing
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing
 Header Item European Convention on Human Rights
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing
 Header Item Social and Affordable Housing
 Header Item Housing Data

Thursday, 1 April 2021

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 1005 No. 6
Unrevised

First Page Previous Page Page of 78 Next Page Last Page

Written Answers Nos. 118-142

Departmental Data

 118. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath if a schedule will be provided of the data sets, databases and file types his Department has shared with the Department of Health since 2000. [17977/21]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Michael McGrath): Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath I understand that the Deputy clarified to my Department that the information requested relates “to data that my Department has provided to the Department of Health, or information that my Department holds and may give access to the Department of Health that relates to private individuals and officials”. The position in this regard is set out in the table below.

Date Data Format From To Details Purpose
2000 - Present Correspondence (‘Ministerial Representations’) D/PER D/Health Correspondence (‘Ministerial Representations’) that relate to Department of Health policy areas are forwarded to the Minister’s Office of the Department of Health, when appropriate To respond to matters raised in correspondence received by the Minister
2000 - Present Correspondence D/PER D/Health Correspondence with the Department of Health in areas where the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform is required, e.g. for appointments To convey the sanction of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform
Oct 2019 - Present Access to OneLearning Learning Management System D/PER D/Health Training records of Department of Health officials for courses administered on Learning Management System HR Management, Training, Workforce Planning, Reporting, Audit & Compliance
Periodically (as required) Information / extracts from LEADS (senior level performance management) central database D/PER D/Health Performance management compliance data Tracking of performance management process compliance and to facilitate payment of increments.

General Data Protection Regulation

 119. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath the number of complaints his Department has received from members of the public under the heading of GDPR and data information requests since 2018 to date in 2021; the number of data information requests that have been refused and accepted, respectively; the number of GDPR requests refused; and the basis on which they were declined in tabular form. [17996/21]

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Michael McGrath): Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath I wish to advise the Deputy that my Department has answered all relevant GDPR requests, such as Subject Access Requests which is what my Department have taken data information requests to mean, from 2018 to 2021. The other information sought by the Deputy is set out below in the format requested.

Information sought Number
Number of complaints received from members of the public under the heading of GDPR and data information requests (assumed to be Subject Access Requests) since 2018 to date in 2021 0
Number of data information requests (assumed to be Subject Access Requests) since 2018 to date in 2021 25

Garda Headquarters

 120. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath the way in which Military Road was first picked as a likely site for the build of a new headquarters for An Garda Síochána; the date on which this location was selected; the names of the persons that made the final decision to select Military Road; if a consolidated and complete schedule will be provided of other sites that were on the shortlist for same; and if the attention of the OPW was drawn in advance of Military Road being picked that expansion capacity and future proofing were key requirements for An Garda Síochána in terms of the new building. [18002/21]

 121. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath the date on which the OPW and An Garda Síochána became aware the new building at Military Road would be too small to accommodate the full cohort of personnel currently situated at Harcourt Square. [18003/21]

 122. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath if the OPW has identified the location which other personnel who cannot be accommodated in the new Military Road Garda building will be housed; and the annual cost associated with that overspill of accommodation needs. [18004/21]

 123. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Information on Michael McGrath Zoom on Michael McGrath if the completion date for the new headquarters of An Garda Síochána also encompass a full fitout of the building to turn-key standard in view of the fact that OPW has confirmed that the Military Road building will be completed on schedule for September 2022. [18005/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Deputy Patrick O'Donovan): Information on Patrick O'Donovan Zoom on Patrick O'Donovan I propose to take Questions Nos. 120 to 123, inclusive, together.

An evaluation panel, comprising of senior representatives from Department of Justice, An Garda Síochána and the Office of Public Works was set up in order to assess alternative sites. A very detailed assessment of six sites in Dublin, including Military Road, was undertaken by the evaluation panel. In November 2015, the evaluation panel concluded that, based on the evaluation assessment and the brief of requirements from An Garda Síochána, the site at Military Road was deemed the most suitable.

The numbers of staff being accommodated in the new Garda Security and Crime Operations Centre, Military Road meet the specifications and brief as requested of the OPW at the time the site was selected. However, a range of strategic modernisation initiatives undertaken by the Garda Commissioner in recent years has led to an increase in numbers in the specialist Bureaus and Units attached to Harcourt Square and staffing numbers have increased as a result of the expansion of the Garda workforce.

As part of An Garda Síochána’s overall strategic planning, in addition to the new facility being built at Military Rd, is a relocation of it’s Command and Control Centre (presently in Harcourt Square) to a new facility at Heuston Station, being developed by the National Transport Authority and Irish Rail. This will support a more integrated ‘blue light’ response for the public, and includes Dublin City Council’s blue light requirements.

The overall strategy to meet the requirements of Garda Síochána is constantly under review and include a major upgrade, restoration and refurbishment of its Headquarters in the Phoenix Park and the associated relocation of key Units to this site in order to optimise the accommodation of specialist Garda operations.

For example, Forensic Science Ireland will be vacating Garda HQ from mid-2022 and moving to their new laboratory building in Backweston and another building in Garda HQ is being restored. An existing OPW lease in a nearby building will be available for An Garda Síochána. This will release additional space for An Garda Síochána’s use.

Both the OPW and An Garda Síochána are aware of the impact of a changing workforce on the property solutions currently being advanced. The OPW continues to assist An Garda Síochána in its task in mapping out what it envisages is likely to be its property requirements in the coming years, in line with its workforce plans, insofar as it can anticipate those requirements.

The new Garda Security and Crime Operations Centre building at Military Rd will be fully completed by September 2022. The project is on time and on budget.

Grant Payments

 124. Deputy Violet-Anne Wynne Information on Violet-Anne Wynne Zoom on Violet-Anne Wynne asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if financial supports are available to members of an association (details supplied); if her attention has been drawn to the fact that the business continuation scheme does not include many of its members given they do not meet the criteria of the minimum income threshold; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18019/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin The July Stimulus and Budget 2021 provided a significant package of tax and fiscal measures to build the resilience of the economy and to help vulnerable but viable businesses across all sectors.

In 2020, the Covid-19 Adaptation Fund was open to tourism and hospitality businesses including cruise hire companies and boat tour operators. In February, 2021 Fáilte Ireland launched the first phase of the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme, which, subject to eligibility criteria, included cruise hire companies and tourism boat tour operators. This phase of the scheme closed for applications on 8th March.

The Tourism Business Continuity Scheme is administered by Fáilte Ireland and I have referred the Deputy's question to that agency for further reply including information on thresholds and other supports that may be available to Irish Charters Skippers Association members. Please contact my private office if you have not received a reply within ten working days.

Departmental Funding

 125. Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if a list of all 2021 funding schemes will be provided relevant to the arts and culture; the amount allocated to each of these initiatives; the specific number of artists that received support from each of these initiatives; the number of persons in receipt of funding to date by county in tabular form; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17662/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin My Department operates a number of funding schemes every year. These are announced by Press Release and social media and are published on my Department's website. Application forms, guidance on the application process and further information on these schemes are routinely published. My Department also arranges for publication of its funding decisions on its website including grant recipients, the amounts allocated. In many cases this includes locations by county. Details of the main funding schemes announced in 2021 to date by my Department are listed in the table hereunder.

Scheme type Name of Schemes Link on website where details are published
Cultural Schemes Unit Regional Museum Exhibitions Scheme

Co-operation with Northern Ireland

Mobility of Collections Scheme

Small Scale Local Festivals and Summer Schools
https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/f2ed0-culture-grants-and-funding/
Culture Capital funding

Cultural Capital Schemes (2019-2022/ 2016 – 2018)



Cultural Development Expenditure
https://wayback.archive-it.org/org-1444/20201009132504/https://www.chg.gov.ie/arts/creative-arts/grants-and-funding/previous-schemes/ https://www.gov.ie/en/service/b61b2-stream-d-of-the-cultural-capital-scheme-2019-2022/
Creative Ireland Programme Cruinniú na nÓg https://www.creativeireland.gov.ie/en/news/call-for-applications-strategic-partnerships-for-cruinniu-na-nog-2021/.
Culture Ireland

Regular grants rounds



See Here scheme,



Delegate Scheme



Showcase programmes

https://www.cultureireland.ie/funding
€50m Live Entertainment Sector supports

€25m new Live Performance Support Scheme



€14m new support scheme for live entertainment businesses,



€5m to local authorities for outdoor live performances



€5m capital supports for live entertainment sector



€1m to St. Patrick’s Festival

https://www.gov.ie/en/service/ca5d7-live-performance-support-scheme-2021/Application forms, guidance on the application process and further information on these schemes are routinely published on the Department’s website. Details of recipients/events/ grant amounts will be published for these scheme in due as these schemes have not yet concluded.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 126. Deputy Catherine Connolly Information on Catherine Connolly Zoom on Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the analysis her Department has carried out into the financial impact of Covid-19 on lighting, sound and audio visual engineering companies working in the entertainment sector (details supplied); her plans to increase the grant funding levels provided under the music entertainment business assistance scheme in line with the levels offered to comparable businesses under the small business assistance scheme for Covid to take into account the high overheads faced by these companies; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17732/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin I am acutely aware of the challenges facing those who rely on live performance to sustain their livelihoods on foot of necessary public health restrictions. The Government's response to the impact of the pandemic on the sector and the economy generally is comprised of a broad range of supports delivered across a range of Departments. The Pandemic Unemployment Payment (PUP), the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme and the COVID-19 Restrictions Support Scheme form the principle elements of the Government's response. The Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment recently announced the Small Business Assistance Scheme for Covid (SBASC) as a further horizontal support across all sectors of the economy. SMEs and Businesses in the non-funded live events sector are eligible to apply under this scheme.   

  I was pleased to recently announce a new €50 million suite of additional measures to further support those in the Live Entertainment Sector. As part of this suite, an allocation of €25 million is being made available under the Live Performance Support Scheme 2021. This scheme builds on the successful outcomes of the pilot Live Performance Support Scheme (LPSS) in 2020, which provided thousands of days of employment to hundreds of musicians, actors, crew and technicians in tandem with a pipeline of high quality on-line much needed entertainment for Irish audiences.

  The 2021 scheme is aimed at supporting employment and wellbeing opportunities across all genres and the continued production of high quality artistic output for the public.

  As a further support measure for those in the live entertainment industry, an allocation of €14m will be made available for a new scheme to make a contribution to the overheads of businesses, specifically musicians and related crew, that have been significantly negatively affected by COVID-19 and that do not qualify for other business supports. The main features of this new Music Entertainment Business Assistance Scheme (MEBAS) will see support to assist with business overheads offered by way of two levels of flat payments:

  - €2,500 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover of €20,000 - €100,000;

  - €5,000 for businesses with a VAT-exclusive turnover in excess of €100,000.

  Under the scheme, musicians, singers, lighting and sound crew and audio equipment suppliers - whether sole traders, partnerships or incorporated entities - operating exclusively within the commercial live entertainment sector will be eligible to apply. This scheme has been developed following wide consultation with the sector and will be managed directly by my Department. The eligibility threshold of €20,000 aims to strike an appropriate balance having regard to other available supports and the need to reach as many professional musicians and crew as possible. The scheme will open when the necessary administrative and IT systems are in place.

  An allocation of up to €5 million will also be made available to local authorities for live performances in summer 2021 to animate town centres and other locations, should public health considerations permit. This will allow for the procurement by local authorities of performances by local performers. Performances can be recorded or streamed if health restrictions prevent live events. Local authorities will be encouraged to engage events companies to develop and deliver a programme of performances.

  Further information on the business and financial supports my colleague the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment has in place to help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis can be viewed at the following link https://enterprise.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Supports-for-SMEs/COVID-19-supports/.

Meath na Gaeltachta

 127. D'fhiafraigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Information on Aengus Ó Snodaigh Zoom on Aengus Ó Snodaigh den Aire Turasóireachta, Cultúir, Ealaíon, Gaeltachta, Spóirt agus Meán Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin an admhódh sí go bhfuil géarchéim sochtheangeolaíochta ann sa Ghaeltacht. [17764/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers Is í an Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge 2010–2030 bunchloch pholasaí an Rialtais i leith na Gaeilge. Tá úinéireacht tras­Rannach ag an Straitéis agus baineann an fhreagracht as í a chur i bhfeidhm, dá réir, le raon Ranna Rialtais, forais agus eagraíochtaí Gaeilge agus Gaeltachta. Is í mo Roinn atá freagrach as cur chun feidhme na Straitéise a chomhordú.

  Tá raon moltaí atá á gcur i bhfeidhm i láthair na huaire sa Straitéis a bhaineann leis na naoi réimse seo a leanas: Oideachas; an Ghaeltacht; an Teaghlach ag Cur na Teanga ar Aghaidh - Idirghabháil go Luath; Riarachán; Seirbhísí agus Pobal; na Meáin agus an Teicneolaíocht; Foclóirí; Reachtaíocht agus Stádas; Saol Eacnamaíochta agus Tionscnaimh Leathana.

  Leagtar amach sa Phlean Gníomhaíochta 5 bliana don Ghaeilge, a thacaíonn le cur i bhfeidhm na Straitéise, os cionn 180 beart a chuirfidh tuairim is 60 páirtí leasmhar i bhfeidhm thar tréimhse cúig bliana, ar mhaithe le forfheidhmiú na Straitéise agus ar leas na Gaeilge agus na Gaeltachta dá réir. Is í mo Roinn atá freagrach as comhordú a dhéanamh ar fhorfheidhmiú agus monatóireacht a dhéanamh ar an bPlean. Tá an dara tuairisc bhliantúil maidir lena chur i bhfeidhm á ullmhú faoi láthair agus súil é a fhoilsiú go luath. Táim ag súil go mbeidh sé le sonrú sa tuairisc sin nuair atá sé foilsithe go bhfuil gníomhaíochtaí an Phlean ag tacú leis an nGaeilge sa Ghaeltacht agus lasmuigh de, in ainneoin tionchar na paindéime ar ghnóthaí Gaeilge agus Gaeltachta.

  Is fiú dom a luadh gur tháinig ardú suntasach de €14.8m ar an leithdháileadh don Ghaeilge agus don Ghaeltacht atá san áireamh i mbuiséad 2021. Fágann sé seo go bhfuil breis is €78m san iomlán á gcur ar fáil ag mo Roinn sa bhliain reatha mar thacaíocht don Ghaeilge.

  Ar ndóigh, tá obair shuntasach ar siúl ag mo Roinn i dtaca le caomhnú agus treisiú na Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht agus go deimhin, lasmuigh de. Tá seo á dhéanamh trí raon beartais, scéimeanna agus tionscnaimh atá á mhaoiniú agus á gcur i bhfeidhm ag mo Roinn. Luafainn go sonrach roinnt bearta ábhartha:

An Próiseas Pleanála Teanga 

  Tá an próiseas pleanála teanga á chur i bhfeidhm faoi Acht na Gaeltachta, 2012. Faoin bpróiseas, tá deis á tabhairt do phobal na Gaeltachta, mar aon le pobail na mBailte Seirbhíse Gaeltachta agus na Líonraí Gaeilge, pleananna teanga a ullmhú agus a fheidhmiú ar bhonn áitiúil. Cuirtear tacaíocht leanúnach thar thréimhse 7 mbliana ar fáil d’aon phlean teanga a cheadaítear faoin bpróiseas. Tá borradh tagtha ar an bpleanáil teanga le roinnt blianta anuas agus 21 limistéar pleanála teanga ceadaithe agus i mbun oibre. Tá 22 Oifigeach Phleanála Teanga agus Oifigigh Cúnta Pleanála Teanga ceaptha chun a phleananna teanga a chur i bhfeidhm ina gceantair áitiúla. Ina theannta sin, tá dhá Bhaile Seirbhíse Gaeltachta a thacóidh leis an nGaeilge sa Ghaeltacht ceadaithe freisin.

  Tá an Roinn ag tacú le Tuismitheoirí na Gaeltachta, Comhar Naíonraí na Gaeltachta agus Ealaín na Gaeltachta chun tacaíocht ar leith a chur ar fáil don phróiseas pleanála teanga freisin. San iomlán, tá maoiniú suas le €5m ar fáil ó mo Roinn don phleanáil teanga sa bhliain reatha.

An Clár Tacaíochtaí Pobail agus Teanga

  Tá suas le €10.2m le caitheamh ag mo Roinn faoin gClár Tacaíochtaí Pobail agus Teanga in 2021. Le maoiniú ón gclár seo cuirtear tacaíocht reatha agus chaipitil ar fáil do thionscadail agus d’eagraíochtaí Gaeltachta, i gcomhréir leis na bearta ábhartha atá sa Phlean Gníomhaíochta don Ghaeilge 2018-2022 agus le tacú ar an iomlán leis an Straitéis 20-Bliain agus an próiseas pleanála Teanga.

 Údarás na Gaeltachta

  Mar chuid de chaináisnéis 2021 tá cistíocht bhreise ar fiú beagnach €4.5m ceadaithe don Údarás sa bhliain reatha faoin gciste caipitil - rud a chiallaíonn go mbeidh soláthar caipitil de bheagnach €14.5m ar fáil don Údarás le tabhairt faoina chlár forbartha, fiontraíochta agus fostaíochta agus chun tacú le comhlachtaí Gaeltachta.

  Lena chois sin tá soláthar méadaithe de €700,000 fógartha i dtreo buiséad maoinithe na gComharchumann agus Coistí Forbartha Pobail Gaeltachta atá faoina stiúir mar fhoras stáit - rud a chiallaíonn go bhfuil buiséad iomlán de €4.75m dó seo sa bhliain reatha.

  Cuideoidh an t-ardú suntasach atá curtha ar bhuiséad Údarás na Gaeltachta don bhliain reatha leis an eagraíocht cur lena cuid gníomhaíochtaí ar mhaithe leis an nGaeilge sa Ghaeltacht.

  Is cinnte go bhfuil dúshláin againn sa Ghaeltacht ach creidim gur ag obair i gcomhar lena chéile is fearr a bhainfidh muid torthaí fónta amach chun an oidhreacht bheo seo a thabhairt ar aghaidh don chéad ghlúin eile. Sa tréimhse amach romhainn, beidh an Rialtas seo, agus mo Roinnse ag obair go dícheallach leis na pairtnéirí go léir, ag leibhéal an stáit agus an phobail chun na spriocanna atá leagtha amach sa Straitéis 20 Bliain don Ghaeilge, an Plean Gníomhachta agus an phróiseas pleanála teanga araon a chur i gcrích.

  Cé go n-aithním, mar atá ráite, go bhfuil an teanga faoi bhrú, tá gach rud á dhéanamh ag an Rialtas seo chun í a neartú agus a fheabhsú ar fud na tíre.

Covid-19 Pandemic

 128. Deputy Paul Kehoe Information on Paul Kehoe Zoom on Paul Kehoe asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the process for obtaining permission by persons (details supplied) for international travel for the purpose of participating in elite sport; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17900/21]

Minister of State at the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Jack Chambers): Information on Jack Chambers Zoom on Jack Chambers The relevant legislative provisions are set out in the Health Act 1947 (Section 31A - Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (Restrictions upon Travel to the State from Certain States) (No. 5) Regulations 2021, introduced by my colleague the Minister for Health.

Sport Ireland has communicated its precise requirements in this regard to each of the recognised National Governing Bodies of Sport in Ireland. Any athlete seeking certification under these legislative provisions should in the first instance apply to their National Governing Body. Sport Ireland assesses each application in accordance with the provisions and criteria set out in the above-mentioned Regulations.

Departmental Staff

 129. Deputy Claire Kerrane Information on Claire Kerrane Zoom on Claire Kerrane asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if she will provide a breakdown of the higher executive officers, administration officers, assistant principal officers, principal officers and assistant secretaries in her Department by gender in tabular form. [17919/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin The following table shows the breakdown of staff employed in the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media at the grades HEO, AO, APO, PO and A/SEC broken down by Gender.

 

Higher Executive Officer


Administrative Officer


Assistant Principal Officer


Principal Officer


Assistant Secretary


Female


45


14


35


10


1


Male


36


9


30


13


2

Tourism Funding

 130. Deputy Joe Carey Information on Joe Carey Zoom on Joe Carey asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if she will inform Fáilte Ireland of the need to reopen phase 1 of the tourism business continuity scheme to new applicants; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17955/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin The administration of the Tourism Business Continuity Scheme is an operational matter for Fáilte Ireland. I have referred the Deputy's question to them for further details regarding the scheme. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.

Departmental Data

 131. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin if a schedule will be provided of the data sets, databases and file types her Department has shared with the Department of Health since 2000. [17981/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin I am advised that, other than personnel files relating to staff transferring between the two departments, my department has not shared any data sets, databases or files with the Department of Health during the period specified by the Deputy.

General Data Protection Regulation

 132. Deputy Catherine Murphy Information on Catherine Murphy Zoom on Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin the number of complaints her Department has received from members of the public under the heading of GDPR and data information requests since 2018 to date in 2021; the number of data information requests that have been refused and accepted, respectively; the number of GDPR requests refused; and the basis on which they were declined in tabular form. [18000/21]

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media (Deputy Catherine Martin): Information on Catherine Martin Zoom on Catherine Martin The information requested in respect Data Subject Access Requests under GDPR received by my Department during the period specified by the Deputy is set out in the table below.

YEAR REQUESTS RECEIVED REQUESTS REFUSED REASON FOR REFUSAL (If Applicable)
2018 7 0 n/a
2019 4 2 In one case no identification was provided.



In the second case the request was refused on the basis that no records exist.
2020 6 1 No records exist
2021 1 1 No records exist

Social and Affordable Housing

 133. Deputy Louise O'Reilly Information on Louise O'Reilly Zoom on Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien the average cost for retrofitting a social housing unit as part of the national retrofitting scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17705/21]

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Deputy Darragh O'Brien): Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien The 2021 Energy Efficiency Retrofit Programme (EERP) is a newly revised programme devised around the Programme for Government with a set target of over 500,000 homes to be retrofit by 2030, of which it is estimated approximately 36,000 will be local authority owned homes.

In early 2021, local authorities received an allocation along with a minimum target of homes they are required to retrofit under the programme, which has been devised in a way to give local authorities a level of flexibilty when selecting properties to retrofit. The programme allows a mix of properties to be chosen, ranging from those requiring minor levels of works to properties needing the maximum level of retrofitting required to bring them to a B2/cost Optimum standard.

Under the new EERP programme costs on individual homes could vary from €13,000 to €45,000. The final cost on a home will depend on its pre-works building standard and energy performance. Targets set and funding allocated to local authorities under the new programme are based on an expected all in average cost of €30,000 per home.

Local Authority Housing

 134. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan Information on Bernard J. Durkan Zoom on Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien if it will be necessary to invoke emergency housing procedures in order to assure the rapid delivery of direct build local authority houses on public lands in the shortest possible timescale; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17654/21]

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Deputy Darragh O'Brien): Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien The delivery of housing supports is a key priority of Government and this is reflected in the Programme for Government commitment to increase the social housing stock nationally by more than 50,000, with a key emphasis on delivering new build homes.

  The Government investment for the delivery of all housing programmes this year alone, is €3.3 billion and given the major focus on new build social homes, I have taken a number of measures to facilitate expedited delivery by local authorities and the Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs). In particular, in September 2020 I increased from €2 million to €6 million, the threshold within which local authorities can advance their proposals for new social housing construction projects, for funding confirmation by my Department via a single approval process.

  As Minister, I have established a High Level Housing Delivery Group which meets regularly and includes key stakeholders from the local authorities, the Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs), the Housing Agency and the Housing Delivery Coordination Office (HDCO). This Group meets regularly to monitor and coordinate delivery of social housing programmes and to identify and address any systemic issues that could block or delay progress.

  I have also enhanced the role of the HDCO to work with all local authorities on accelerating their social housing construction programmes, including the activation of existing sites and the acquisition and development of new sites. The restrictions on construction activity from 8th January last - following on from the 2020 restrictions - will have an unavoidable impact on the completion timelines for all housing construction, including public housing. However this week’s announcement of the phased easing of public health restrictions will now see all residential construction projects able to recommence from 12th April. I will be asking all local authorities to work with the construction sector to prioritise the earliest possible resumption of public housing projects, consistent with the public health guidelines.

  The Government will be publishing a new housing strategy this year, which will set out details of social housing delivery out to 2025, including social housing targets for 2022 onwards. While local authorities already have social housing construction programmes in train, I am keen that they are proactive in adding to this pipeline and, working with the AHBs, in advancing their existing projects as speedily as possible with the assurance of the funding being available from my Department.

  To provide transparency on the new social housing projects being advanced, my Department publishes a Social Housing Construction Status Report each quarter. These reports provide details of the social housing construction schemes completed and those in the pipeline for all local authority areas. The report for 2020 is available at the following link: https://rebuildingireland.ie/news/minister-obrien-publishes-2020-social-housing-statistics/. The publication of this information can also give Councillors and public representatives the opportunity to work with the local authority officials to press the advancement of these social housing delivery projects, in line with the 2021 delivery targets already in place and the multi-annual targets that we will be publishing with this year's new housing strategy.

Social and Affordable Housing

 135. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien if a prospective tenant who qualifies for the homeless HAP support can rent a home from a landlord that is related to them; if so, the circumstances and rules regulating same; if each local authority is operating the system under the same guidelines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17659/21]

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Deputy Darragh O'Brien): Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Scheme is deemed to be a social housing support under the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014. As a long term housing support, an assessment of housing need must be completed in order for a household to qualify for HAP. Any household with an identified housing need is eligible for HAP.

  Under HAP, households at risk of homelessness may be eligible for additional supports. To qualify for specific additional supports available to homeless households, a household must have been determined by the relevant local authority to be homeless within the meaning of section 2 of the Housing Act 1988. The operation of local homeless services, including the Place Finder Service, is a matter for each local authority.

  In order for housing assistance to be provided under the Act the housing authority must be satisfied that the tenancy concerned is or would be a tenancy in good faith.   Where there is a family relationship between the tenant and the landlord, the housing authority may seek evidence of a previous landlord and tenant relationship between a landlord and the HAP applicant. This evidence may include:

  - Proof of rent payments;

  - A lease or tenancy agreement for the property; and

  - Registration of the tenancy with the Residential Tenancies Board.

  HAP support is available to tenants in rent a room scheme arrangements, however, the rental of a room to a civil partner, son or daughter is excluded from this scheme. HAP cannot be paid where the tenant is seeking to rent within the family home.

  In order for a housing authority to be satisfied that a tenancy is or would be in good faith, the onus is on the applicant and landlord to prove that what is being proposed is a bona fide tenancy. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the housing authority to make a decision in each individual case.

European Convention on Human Rights

 136. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin Information on Eoin Ó Broin Zoom on Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien his views on the report issued by the European Committee on Social Rights in March 2021 which stated that the Government is still in breach of article 16 of the European Convention of Human Rights with respect to local authority tenants and Traveller accommodation; the additional actions he plans to take to address this breach of the international human rights obligations of the State; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17669/21]

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Deputy Darragh O'Brien): Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien My Department supports a number of local authority housing stock improvement programmes which have seen €457m of exchequer funding invested in local authority housing stock improvement works since 2014. For example:

- The Energy Efficiency Programme aims to improve energy performance and comfort levels in homes. Since 2014, 60,357 homes have benefited from some level of retrofitting works at a cost of €134m

- The Voids Programme funds local authorities to remediate vacant homes to ensure they meet minimum letting standards. Since 2014, 16,102 vacant local authority homes have been remediated and re-let at a cost of €229m

- The Disabled Persons Grant Scheme funds necessary adaptations to local authority housing stock to accommodate the needs of the elderly and disabled and to relieve overcrowding. Since 2014, thousands of households have had their living conditions improved at a cost of €94m.

Moving forward, my Department is working with the local authority sector, through the City and County Management Association to transition the sector to a new planned maintenance approach based on stock condition surveys. Budget 2021 saw a significant uplift in Energy Efficiency funding and the Programme for Government commits to further funding being made available to local authorities going forward for planned maintenance works; insulation, windows and doors and heating systems.

With regards to Traveller Accommodation, a Programme Board has now been established to drive the implementation of recommendations contained within the Traveller Accommodation Expert Review Report. The Board had its first meeting on the 24 March 2021. Progress has already been made on a number of the recommendations set out in the report including the method of allocation of funding to local authorities which was modified in 2020 and improvements to data capture on the characteristics of the Traveller community as part of the Census.

A revised and affordable Caravan Loan Scheme for Traveller families is being introduced on a 6-month pilot basis across four local authorities from May 2021 with the objective of rolling it out nationally if the pilot proves successful. This scheme has the potential to make an immediate and hugely significant improvement to living conditions for many Traveller families. For the first time in six years the full capital and current budget allocations for Traveller accommodation were expended in 2020.

In 2020 just over 250 halting sites, both authorised and unauthorised, were audited for Covid preparedness and a list of deficiencies and checklist of works was prepared for each site. This resulted in over €4m of investment in improvements to site conditions.

Social and Affordable Housing

 137. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien if he will provide a breakdown of the 29,720 households that have had their social housing needs met since 2016; the percentage that were housed through private rental accommodation and housing assistance payments; the percentage that were allocated permanent housing through local authority housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17719/21]

 138. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien if he will provide a breakdown of the 6,813 households that have had their social housing needs met since 2019; the percentage that were housed through private rental accommodation and housing assistance payments; the percentage that were allocated permanent housing through local authority housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17720/21]

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Deputy Darragh O'Brien): Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien   I propose to take Questions Nos. 137, 138 and 141 together.

  Details on the number of households qualified for social housing support in each local authority administrative area are provided in the annual statutory Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA).

  The most recent summary, conducted in November 2020, shows that 61,880 households were assessed as qualified for and being in need of social housing support. This represents a decrease of 6,813 households or 9.9% on the last assessment in June 2019. Since 2016, the numbers have decreased from 91,600 to 61,880, a reduction of 32.4%.

  It should be noted that the SSHA is a point in time snapshot of the demand for social housing support in each local authority area and does not necessarily reflect the dynamic nature of entry to and exit from the housing waiting lists. As such, the numbers of housing solutions provided do not equate to changes in the annual SSHA. The table below includes data on the number of housing solutions provided in each year from 2016-2020, which are provided by new social housing delivery through build acquisition and leasing, in addition to housing solutions supported by HAP and RAS.

Year Number of Housing Solutions Provided
2016 19,045
2017 25,901
2018 27,103
2019 28,075
2020 24,625


The allocation of dwellings to qualified households is a matter for the local authority concerned, in accordance with their allocation scheme made under section 22 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and associated Regulations. This legislation requires all local authorities, as a reserved function, to make an allocation scheme determining the order of priority to be accorded in the allocation of dwellings to households qualified for social housing support and to households approved for a transfer, the allocation of which would, in the opinion of the authority, meet the accommodation needs and requirements of the households.

Social and Affordable Housing

 139. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien if he will provide a breakdown of the 61,880 households assessed as being qualified for social housing supports as of 2 November 2020 by household size; if any of these households are currently in receipt of the housing assistance payment; the percentage that are in homeless accommodation; the percentage that are on transfer lists in the local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17721/21]

 140. Deputy Bríd Smith Information on Bríd Smith Zoom on Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien if there are other households assessed as being qualified for social housing supports that are not included in the 61,880 households assessed as being qualified for social housing supports as of 2 November 2020; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17722/21]

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Deputy Darragh O'Brien): Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien I propose to take Questions Nos. 139 and 140 together.

Details on the number of households qualified for social housing support in each local authority administrative area are provided in the annual statutory Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA).

  The most recent summary, conducted in November 2020, shows that 61,880 households were assessed as qualified for and being in need of social housing support. This represents a decrease of 6,813 households or 9.9% on the last assessment in June 2019.

  Below is the link to the summary report for 2020 which includes breakdowns by each local authority across a range of categories.

  Tables 2.4 and A1.4 of the report provide details on household size. It should be noted that the category “Household Composition” in the previous reports, was replaced in the 2019 report by the “Household Size” profile category which provides more granular level of detail regarding the number of persons in each household type.

  Tables 2.7 and A1.7 provide details on the breakdown of the current tenure, including those in emergency accommodation/none.

  The key figure reported in the SSHA is referred to as ‘net need’. Net need is the total number of households qualified for social housing support whose need for support is not being met. This total excludes the following households:

- Duplicate applications   – Where a household has applied to more than one authority for social housing support, only their first application was included in the count.

- Those in receipt of social housing support  —for example, households currently living in local authority rented accommodation, approved housing body accommodation, accommodation provided under the HAP scheme, accommodation provided under the RAS, or accommodation provided under the SHCEP schemes.

- Households on a transfer list  —any household that has applied for a transfer from an existing form of social housing support including HAP.

  It should be noted that the SSHA is a point in time snapshot of the demand for social housing support in each local authority area and does not necessarily reflect the dynamic nature of entry to and exit from the housing waiting lists.

  2020 Report

  www.gov.ie/en/publication/970ea-summary-of-social-housing-assessments-2020-key-findings/#:~:text=The%20Summary%20of%20Social%20Housing,is%20not%20currently%20being%20met.

  Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 137.

Housing Data

 142. Deputy Patricia Ryan Information on Patricia  Ryan Zoom on Patricia  Ryan asked the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien the current wait time for approval of Rebuilding Ireland home loans by county; the number of applicants awaiting approval by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17752/21]

Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Deputy Darragh O'Brien): Information on Darragh O'Brien Zoom on Darragh O'Brien The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme remains open for business. All local authorities are receiving and processing RIHL applications and are incorporating increased flexibility to accommodate applicants during the COVID 19 Pandemic.

  It is anticipated that processing of a complete and valid application will take approximately 6-8 weeks. This period may vary during the current COVID-19 pandemic and depending on the local authority and the details of individual applications.

  My Department does not collect information on the current wait times for approval or the number of applications awaiting approval.


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