Houses of the Oireachtas

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

Go to

O'Sullivan, Jan

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Protection of Tenants in Receipt of Rental Supports (Continued)

The grounds upon which a tenancy in the private rented residential sector may be legally terminated are dearly set out in the Residential Tenancies Act 2004. The Act provides the main regulatory f...More Button

The ongoing development of a stable, well-regulated rented sector is a key goal for this Government and stability of tenure is fundamental to that goal. The legal framework set out in the Act ma...More Button

The maximum duration of a tenancy under the Act is four years, after which a new tenancy must be registered with the board. Where a tenant has been in occupation of a dwelling for a continuous p...More Button

The Rental Accommodation Scheme, RAS, is an initiative announced by the Government in July 2004 to cater for the accommodation needs of persons in receipt of rent supplement, normally for more th...More Button

I thank Deputy Ellis as this is a real issue. I met representatives of the Irish Banking Federation recently because I was concerned about the role of receivers, in particular, and the federation ...More Button

I intend to accelerate the construction programme as soon as possible. We are in very difficult economic circumstances and budgets have been cut significantly, not just in the few years since I ...More Button

It is a difficult issue, particularly in cities like Dublin, which has supply concerns. I stress again that tenants have rights outlined in legislation and we want to ensure those rights can be ...More Button

Mortgage Applications Approvals

Householders seeking to avail of the mortgage to rent scheme must:

- have been involved in the Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP) with their lender and agree that they can no longe...More Button

Local Authority Funding

On 22 February 2013, I announced details of the capital allocations to local authorities under the suite of Grants for Older People and People with a Disability amounting to €42.750 million.More Button

Rural Development Policy

Under an arrangement between Dublin City Council and Rural Resettlement Ireland (RRI), an approved housing body, tenants of the City Council who wished to vacate their social rented accommodation w...More Button

Housing Adaptation Grant Applications

Under the terms of the suite of Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, grants are available to assist households to have necessary repairs or improvement works car...More Button

The Housing Aid for Older People Scheme provides grants of up to €10,500 to assist older people living in poor housing conditions to have necessary repairs or improvements carried out. Grant-elig...More Button

The detailed administration of these schemes, including the assessment, approval and payment of grants to applicants under the various grant measures, is the responsibility of the relevant local au...More Button

Property Taxation Exemptions

I propose to take Questions Nos. 759 to 762, inclusive, 764, 770, 783, 794, 795, 831 and 835 together.

  An exemption from the local property tax applies to developments listed ...More Button

  Question No. 763 answered with Question No. 752.More Button

  Question No. 764 answered with Question No. 759.More Button

Tenant Purchase Scheme Eligibility

There is no tenant purchase scheme in place for existing local authority houses since the 1995 scheme closed for new applications on 31 December 2012. However, two tenant purchase schemes by way of...More Button

It is intended to advance the necessary legislative proposals as soon as practicable to underpin an incremental purchase scheme for existing local authority houses. Such a scheme will involve dis...More Button

Planning Issues

Conditions attached to planning permissions for residential development must require the giving of sufficient security prior to commencement of development. The form of the bond, the amount and the...More Button

Conditions attached to planning permissions for residential development must require the giving of sufficient security prior to commencement of development. Existing guidance to planning authoritie...More Button

The guidance specifies that it is a matter for the planning authority to determine both the level of the security and the type of security. This can take the form of the lodgement of a bond from ...More Button

While the form of the bond, the amount and the terms attached are matters for the planning authority concerned, the arrangement entered into must enable the planning authority, without cost to it...More Button

The information sought in relation to the value of bonds held is not available in my Department.More Button

Under section 30 of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 - 2012, I am, as Minister, specifically precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any particular case, including an en...More Button

Section 28 of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 amended Section 42 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 to provide that the duration of a planning permission may be extended wh...More Button

This latter provision is, however, subject to the following qualifications: that the planning authority is satisfied that there have been no significant changes in the development objectives in t...More Button

This means that in cases where substantial works have not been carried out, and where the relevant development plan objectives or the objectives in the relevant regional planning guidelines have ...More Button

I consider that the amendment made in 2010 strikes an appropriate balance and that in cases where substantial works have not been carried out the duration of permission should not be extended in ...More Button

  Question No. 857 answered with Question No. 768.More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Eligibility

Affordable housing schemes were introduced to facilitate home ownership for first time buyers. To this end, while the terms and conditions of the various affordable housing schemes do not prohibit ...More Button

The Government’s 2011 housing policy statement announced the standing down of all affordable housing schemes, including the shared ownership scheme, as part of the review of Part V of the Plannin...More Button

Regulation 22(1) of the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 provides that a household with alternative accommodation that would meet its housing need is ineligible for social housing support...More Button

Strategic Development Zones

On 18 December 2012, and pursuant to my proposal, the Government designated the North Lotts and Grand Canal Dock areas of the Dublin Docklands as a Strategic Development Zone (SDZ). This will provi...More Button

Since the designation, Dublin City Council, the development agency in this case, has published its SDZ Draft Planning Scheme, the preparation of which involved wide-ranging consultations, includi...More Button

In addition to the extensive public consultation exercises which form part of the SDZ process, I acknowledge the further need to foster community interaction and local initiatives to ensure that ...More Button

Urban Renewal Schemes

In June 2012, my Department invited each city and county council to submit proposals for the purchase or construction of new social housing units over the period 2012 - 2014. Westmeath County Counc...More Button

My Department approved €840,000 for these works in July 2012. In March 2013 €420,000 was allocated to Westmeath County Council in respect of construction costs on the scheme this year, with the b...More Button

In February, Westmeath County Council submitted a Project Appraisal for the proposed scheme and my Department is currently liaising with the Council with regard to specific design issues in conne...More Button

  Question No. 781 answered with Question No. 766.More Button

Local Authority Housing Provision

Under section 22 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, which came into operation on 14 June 2010, the making and amendment of an allocation scheme for social housing is a reserved fun...More Button

  Question No. 791 answered with Question No. 768.More Button

Unfinished Housing Developments

An exemption from the local property tax applies to those unfinished housing developments listed in the schedule to the Finance (Local Property Tax) Regulations 2013. More Button

Section 180 of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 applies to estates which have been granted planning permission and includes the construction of two or more houses (which as defined in the A...More Button

In relation to estates which have been completed to the satisfaction of the planning authority in accordance with the permission, section 180 provides that the planning authority must, if request...More Button

Section 11 of the Roads Act empowers a local authority to, by order, declare any road over which a public right of way exists to be a public road. Before making an order the local authority must ...More Button

In relation to estates which have not been completed to the satisfaction of the planning authority, and where enforcement proceedings have not been commenced within the relevant period, section 1...More Button

Section 180 also provides that where a planning authority, in complying with section 180, makes an order under section 11 of the Roads Act, it must also take in charge any open spaces, car parks,...More Button

Section 180 was amended in the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 to provide that a planning authority may take in charge an unfinished estate, at the request of the owners of the hous...More Button

The information sought in the question is not available in my Department and may be obtained directly from the local authorities.More Button

Departmental Funding

I propose to take Questions Nos. 801 and 811 together.More Button

I am chairing the National Co-ordination Committee on Unfinished Housing Developments to oversee implementation of the Report of the Advisory Group on Unfinished Housing Developments, together wi...More Button

This funding is targeted at those developments where a developer has abandoned the development and serious public safety concerns exist. In circumstances where a developer is still active it is t...More Button

Under the Capital Advance Leasing Facility, the facility also exists whereby a repayable advance to Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) can facilitate such bodies in the acquisition and, if necessary,...More Button

Urban Trees and Hedges

There is no legislation in Ireland regulating the height of trees and hedges. My Department understands that there is no right in Irish law to receive light in a garden and that, while there is a c...More Button

While I have no plans to introduce legislation on this matter I wrote to my colleague the Minister for Justice and Law Reform suggesting that we might give consideration to potential alternative ...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Provision

A range of statistical information on the numbers of social and affordable housing units provided by local authorities can be found on my Department’s website at ww...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 812 and 813 together.

  The Government's 2011 housing policy statement announced the standing down of all affordable housing schemes, including t...More Button

Local Authority Housing

The Government’s housing policy statement, published in June 2011, clearly identifies that the priority for Government will be to meet the most acute needs of households applying for social housing...More Button

The social housing capital budget has been reduced from €1.535 billion in 2008 to €332.7m in 2012, with an anticipated outturn of some €299m for 2013, and the financial parameters within which we...More Button

Delivery of social housing will be significantly facilitated through more flexible funding models such as the Rental Accommodation Scheme and leasing, but the Government is also committed to deve...More Button

  Question No. 811 answered with Question No. 801.More Button

An Bord Pleanála Appeals

Statistics in relation to the percentage of cases where the Board have reversed the recommendation of the Inspector are available in the Board’s annual reports, available at More Button

Regeneration Projects Funding

This year my Department is providing €2 million to Dundalk Town Council to support on-going regeneration projects in the town. The masterplan for the regeneration of the Cox's Demesne area of Dunda...More Button

In advance of the completion of the masterplan, the Council, with the support of my Department, is progressing a programme of preparatory and amenity works, social inclusion activities and estate...More Button

Publication of the masterplan will inform future decisions with the regard to the projects and programmes to be funded under my Department’s national regeneration programme.More Button

Local Authority Housing Maintenance

In line with overall national policy which promotes a reduction in energy use, the enhancement of energy efficiency standards remains a priority within my Department's overall strategy for the impr...More Button

Under my Department's Social Housing Investment Programme, local authorities are allocated funding each year in respect of a range of measures to improve the standard and overall quality of their...More Button

Building Regulations Application

I propose to take Questions Nos. 847 to 853, inclusive, together.

  Minimum standards for rental accommodation are prescribed in the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulat...More Button

Local Authority Housing Grants

On 22 February 2013, I announced capital allocations to local authorities under the suite of Grants for Older People and People with a Disability amounting to €42.750 million. This year I allocated...More Button

I have set aside a small capital reserve to deal with any acute or particular difficulty which might arise in the operation of the schemes over the course of the year. I am now considering applicat...More Button