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English, Damien

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Approved Housing Bodies

Approved housing bodies, AHBs, are making an important contribution to the supply of new social housing homes under Rebuilding Ireland. Since 2009, homes built, purchased or leased by AHBs are mad...More Button

Payment and availability agreements are generally between ten and 30 years in length. The level of payment made by the local authority to the AHB varies depending on the type and source of the p...More Button

I sense that the Deputy is a little unhappy with approved housing bodies, but the Government is very happy with their performance. They are doing very well and delivering many houses. The scheme ...More Button

The Deputy made some misleading comments. Local authorities are very much involved in the delivery of housing through approved housing bodies. No approved housing body scheme can come through the...More Button

Approved housing bodies must work through the local authorities, which sanction the schemes in combination with the Department. They are reimbursed for the costs of that - that is why the housing ...More Button

Approved Housing Bodies (Continued)

I question that too. I sense a little frustration in the Deputy's voice, but the housing bodies are not for profit. This is a good use of money. They avail of private finance and the Housing Fin...More Button

  Questions Nos. 26, 38 and 58 replied to with Written Answers.More Button

Traveller Accommodation

I propose to take Questions Nos. 27, 30 and 43 together.More Button

In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, local authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and the preparation,...More Button

In 2018 local authorities delivered a total of 107 units of Traveller accommodation.  They included 57 refurbishments or extensions, 48 emergency caravans, one group house and one first-time buye...More Button

In line with the commitment in Rebuilding Ireland, reflecting the disappointing level of overall funding drawn down in recent years, which I agree is unacceptable, and having regard to relevant f...More Button

Following its consideration of the review, the national Traveller accommodation consultative committee recommended that an independent expert group be established to examine and make recommendati...More Button

The Deputy asked about targets for next year. At housing summits and individual meetings with the housing delivery team as we travel around the country, we sit down with local authorities to go ...More Button

I agree with the Deputy. We genuinely want to make progress in this area. There has been under-achievement in meeting the TAP targets set for the past 20 years by up to 80%, although the position...More Button

We all share the Deputies' concerns that the money is not being spent on Traveller-specific accommodation, but even though there is an underspend, we will make sure the money is spent on other hous...More Button

The only way we have to deal with local authorities is to use existing law. We can sit down with them and work through specific projects. I have visited some of the key sites in a couple of cou...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 31 and 76 together.More Button

In accordance with the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, local authorities have statutory responsibility for the assessment of the accommodation needs of Travellers and the preparation,...More Button

Following the tragic loss of life in Carrickmines, County Dublin, on 10 October 2015, my Department's national directorate for fire and emergency management was tasked with developing and oversee...More Button

The inquest into the tragedy at Carrickmines concluded recently and recommended that the working draft Guide to Fire Safety in Existing Traveller Accommodation be adopted as best practice. The p...More Button

While there is no specific time limit for the use of sites on a temporary basis under the Housing (Traveller Accommodation) Act 1998, local authorities are required to make adequate provision for t...More Button

We will continue to increase capital funding for this purpose. There is no reason urgent fire safety works cannot be carried out. There is no excuse. I understand the difficulties in respect of ...More Button

Traveller Accommodation (Continued)

Again, part of the issue here is that, as we rightly increase the capital funding back up, the pipeline of projects are not there to be able to draw that allocation down. We originally make alloca...More Button

Water and Sewerage Schemes Expenditure

I will try to answer some of the questions raised by the Deputy. I do not have all of the details he has asked for because some of the issues he has raised are different from what was initially pr...More Button

The greater Dublin drainage project involves the development of a new regional wastewater treatment facility at Clonshaugh and associated drainage infrastructure to serve the growing population o...More Button

Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water has statutory responsibility for all aspects of water services planning, delivery and operation at national, regional and local level. Irish Water, as a single ...More Button

On 7 November 2018, the Minister approved Irish Water’s strategic funding plan for 2019 to 2024 which sets out Irish Water’s multi-annual strategic funding requirement of €11 billion to 2024. Th...More Button

Irish Water's strategic funding plan is also subject to economic regulatory review by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, CRU, which will consider the efficiency of its investment proposa...More Button

The Deputy references a cost-benefit analysis. I assume that will be part of an oral hearing discussion. Generally, when these projects are brought forward, alternative options have to be consi...More Button

Water and Sewerage Schemes Expenditure (Continued)

I am mindful that the Deputy was probably chatting to the Leas-Cheann Comhairle when I outlined the position. I do not have the actual planning costs that he is looking for. What happens is Irish...More Button

The Deputy is looking for particular figures. I will see if I can get them for him from Irish Water. It is the body responsible and it is not something the Department deals with on a day to day...More Button

The Deputy has raised questions about whether this is the best way to proceed with the treatment facility. That is something we can certainly look into for him. I am not familiar with the detai...More Button

It is also part of the planning process Irish Water is going through. I have attended many oral hearings during the years. The details will be dealt with and come out. It is an important part ...More Button

Housing Provision

The provision of housing, whether it be social, affordable or private is a top priority for this Government. Under Rebuilding Ireland, the Government is making over €6 billion available to deliver ...More Button

In Wexford, delivery against social housing targets has been strong and the statistics for each local authority’s 2018 delivery, which are being published today, show that Wexford County Council ...More Button

In the important area of new social housing build, Wexford County Council, in conjunction with Approved Housing Bodies, has over 300 further new social homes that are either on site or in plannin...More Button

In terms of housing overall, just over 18,000 dwelling completions nationally were recorded by the CSO in 2018, up 25% on the previous year. 485 of these were in Wexford, which was a 38% increase...More Button

  Question No. 38 answered with Question No. 26.More Button

Pyrite Remediation Programme

I propose to take Questions Nos. 45 and 46 together.

  The Expert Panel on Concrete Blocks was established by my Department in 2016, to investigate problems that have emerged in ...More Button

Ministerial Meetings

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 Boar...More Button

My Department’s records indicate that I have attended six meetings in relation to the operation of the scheme. Representatives of the Pyrite Resolution Board attended two of those meetings, while...More Button

My Department provides technical and general support to the Board, as well as funding to cover the expenditure incurred by the Board and the Housing Agency in the implementation of the scheme. I ...More Button

It should be noted that in accordance with the provisions of the Act, the Board is independent in the performance of its functions and, as Minister, I have no role in the operational matters rela...More Button

Pyrite Issues

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...More Button

The scheme is applicable to dwellings which are subject to significant damage attributable to pyritic heave established in accordance with I.S. 398-1:2017 - Reactive pyrite in sub-floor hardcore ...More Button

Where a dwelling, otherwise not eligible for inclusion in the scheme, adjoins a dwelling already included in the scheme, such a dwelling may be considered in accordance with the exceptional circu...More Button

- failure to include a dwelling in the scheme may result in damage to that dwelling or damage to the dwelling being remediated under the scheme, orMore Button

- pyrite remediation work is causing or may cause damage to a dwelling.More Button

The Housing Agency will consider if exceptional circumstances apply when the Remedial Works Plan is being drawn up and the Board will be informed of any recommendation for a decision in the matte...More Button

In relation to section 15 of the Act, the restriction in Section 15(3) of the Act preventing applications being made under the scheme by a person who purchases a dwelling on or after 12 December ...More Button

The Board was notified of my Department’s view on the matter.  However, it is important to note that, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, the Board is independent in the performance of ...More Button