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English, Damien

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Building Energy Rating Administration

As part of the just transition proposals for the midlands region, budget 2020 has made provision for an additional €20 million to fund energy efficiency upgrades to local authority houses in the af...More Button

With the additional €20 million, my Department is currently working with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment on the development of a targeted programme for the midlan...More Button

The Department's energy efficiency programme has been running since 2013. By the end of 2019, approximately 71,000 homes - or just over half of the local authority social housing stock - will ha...More Button

Building Energy Rating Administration (Continued)

A BER certificate is issued both before and after the works to capture what has been achieved. That is an EU requirement. Some €25 million has been allocated for phase 2 of the scheme next year. ...More Button

The aim is to get homes to a BER of B2, which is the cost-optimal rating. This involves initial work to clarify the state of a home and then seeing what is achieved after works are completed. O...More Button

It is a condition of receiving resources. The Deputy raised issues with regard to certain local authorities not having spent money allocated for voids programmes and so on previously. They are of...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Maintenance

I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 56 together.More Button

The energy efficiency retrofitting programme for social housing was launched in 2013 with the aim of improving the insulation standards and overall energy performance of local authority social ho...More Button

Improvements in thermal performance are measured by local authorities through the use of pre and post-works building energy rating, BER, certificates which provide a good indicator of the energy ...More Button

To be honest with the Deputy, I do not have information on the timing. It is up to the local authority but I presume we can do it quite quickly. With regard to when people are paid, we do not pay...More Button

The Department has common sense. We work with local authorities as best as we can. There are a range of schemes outside of these grants under which houses can be retrofitted. These grants are li...More Button

Local authorities collect a lot of rent from some of these houses. We have asked them to put in place a planned maintenance programme. That will also consider energy efficiencies. There are di...More Button

Tenant Purchase Scheme

I propose to take Questions Nos. 45, 49 and 91 together.More Button

I thank the Deputy for raising the issue again. We have had quite a lot of discussion on this over the past couple of years. I have been talking to the Deputy’s colleague about it. Other parti...More Button

The scheme is open to eligible tenants, including joint tenants, of local authority houses that are available for sale under the scheme. To be eligible, tenants must meet certain criteria, inclu...More Button

In line with the commitment given in the Government's Rebuilding Ireland action plan on housing and homelessness, a review of the operation of the first 12 months of the tenant purchase scheme ha...More Button

What is intended now is that a comprehensive package of social housing reform measures will be brought to the Government in the near future and the review of the tenant purchase scheme will be in...More Button

Let me deal with the issue of the income. I can confirm that there is an income limit. It has to be €15,000. The minimum reckonable income for the 2016 scheme is determined by the relevant local...More Button

Tenant Purchase Scheme (Continued)

As I said, we will be bringing the social housing package forward in the very near future. After that, there will be discussions around this recommendation. I have discussed it with some of Deput...More Button

An impression has probably been given that this is the reason people are not buying houses. In one sample year more than 2,400 applications were made under the scheme. Fewer than a quarter were...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Provision

The Government recognises that mental health issues can give rise to specific housing needs and this is reflected in the development, by my Department and the Department of Health, of a National Ho...More Button

Flowing from the Strategy, local authorities have been mandated to set up Housing and Disability Steering Groups which are tasked with achieving a coordinated and integrated approach to meeting t...More Button

While not all people with mental health difficulties require a specific type of housing, in many cases social care supports are required to assist with adjusting to independent living, which incl...More Button

The National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability will be reviewed in 2020 and housing for people with mental health difficulties will again form part of the considerations in that review.More Button

Credit Union Lending

The Programme for a Partnership Government recognises the potential role that Credit Unions can play in housing finance and supported the efforts of the Registrar of Credit Unions at the Central Ba...More Button

Credit Union bodies have set out proposed means by which funding could be provided by the sector to Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) for the development of social housing. This follows on from the...More Button

My Department referred the Credit Unions’ representative bodies to the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) with a view to both sectors sharing, as far as practical, the benefits of their resp...More Button

The ICSH, along with 6 Tier 3 AHBs, have worked with specialist financial advisers to establish a funding mechanism or vehicle which would source suitable sources of non-state finance to fund the...More Button

The Credit Union sector is one potential funder whose terms are assessed as part of the process of market testing to establish best value for money and optimum terms and conditions from lenders. ...More Button

Building Regulations Compliance

I want to acknowledge the very stressful circumstances which owners and residents face when defects occur in their homes. More Button

Building defects are matters for resolution between the contracting parties involved, that is the homeowner, the builder, the developer and/or their respective insurers, structural guarantee or w...More Button

Local authorities have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under many of the legislative codes referred to in order to ensure that parties discharge their statutory responsibilities. ...More Button

The State has no general statutory role in resolving defects in privately owned buildings, including dwellings. Nor could the taxpayer afford such a role. It is not possible for the State to ta...More Button

  Question No. 56 answered with Question No. 41.More Button

Pyrite Remediation Programme Implementation

Last year, the Government agreed in principle to introduce a scheme to support affected homeowners in the counties of Donegal and Mayo to carry out the necessary remediation works to dwellings that...More Button

Budget 2020 provides funding of €40 million to fund the operation of the pyrite remediation scheme and this new scheme to address the issues identified in Donegal and Mayo. More Button

The full terms and conditions of the scheme are currently being finalised in consultation with the Attorney General's Office and the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, including the deve...More Button

The aim will be to complete the outstanding work without delay in order to ensure that the scheme can get underway, as early as possible. More Button