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Murphy, Eoghan

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.


Water Services

Was asked: when a referendum will be held regarding the State affording constitutional protection to the supply of water services; the status of preparations to hold a referendum in this regard; and if he wil...More Button

The Government is firmly committed to public water services remaining in public ownership, as reflected in the Water Services Acts and in the Water Services Policy Statement 2018-2025. There is wi...More Button

Provisions in respect of the holding of a referendum are contained in the Private Members' Bill initiated by Deputy Joan Collins currently on Committee Stage in the Dáil. Detailed examination of...More Button

I have sought to bring forward amendments to the Bill and on 11 November last, I received Government approval for the priority drafting of proposed amendments to the Bill. These focus on retaini...More Button

The Government is committed to public water services remaining in public ownership. There is no doubt about that. I accept people might be frustrated with the time that this is taking but there a...More Button

For a number of months, I have been trying to get agreement around a proposed wording. In March of last year, I met a number of Deputies and I spoke about and gave documentation on the 14 tests ...More Button

From memory, there are probably four sections that we are looking at in terms of amendments to address the unintended consequences that we think are in the Bill. It is not the fault of the Bill....More Button

Was asked: the status of the reform of water services including the creation of a single utility and a referendum to enshrine water in public ownership.More Button

The Government’s Water Services Policy Statement 2018-2025 sets the broad policy context for the development of water services, including the position of Irish Water as the single, publicly owned n...More Button

In this context, Irish Water has proposed fully integrating its operations and ending the current operational arrangements for the delivery of water services through service level agreements, or ...More Button

To this effect on 19 September 2018, the Director General of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) reported on a process of engagement, undertaken at my request, with the parties involved in t...More Button

In relation to the question of a constitutional amendment on the public ownership of water services, the position is that I have received Government approval for the priority drafting, by the Off...More Button

Water Services (Continued)

I think we will be looking at four sections. I am in the hands of the Office of the Attorney General regarding getting the wording right and having it ready for a future referendum. It was certai...More Button

This is very important to the Government. Commitments were made and I intend to honour them. It is not, however, as urgent as other things because there is not currently a risk to the public owne...More Button

It took some months to do that, longer than I thought. I have also met with the unions on a number of occasions and shared those 14 tests, and I can share them with Deputy O'Brien as well. When...More Button

At the moment, I cannot-----More Button

This issue is, of course, important to me. My engagement with the Attorney General at the moment focuses on Brexit and rent legislation and the Attorney General is also dealing with a number of ot...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing

Was asked: when the new affordable housing scheme will be published; the income limits of the new scheme; the local authorities which will be using the scheme; when it will be available for applications; the ...More Button

Was asked: when he will publish regulations for the affordable purchase scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 21 and 22 together.More Button

Part 5 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 provides a new statutory basis for the delivery of affordable housing for purchase. The Act itself contains significant detail on the ne...More Button

The new affordable housing scheme is targeted towards low to middle income first-time buyer households, with incomes of up to €50,000, and €75,000 in the case of single and dual applicant househo...More Button

The affordable housing scheme will be open to applications as projects are delivered. In that regard, significant delivery is to be achieved through the €310 million serviced site fund, SSF, und...More Button

In parallel with this, the Dublin local authorities continue to progress a number of other significant housing projects on publicly-owned lands, including the redevelopment of O'Devaney Gardens a...More Button

In relation to the Poolbeg West strategic development zone, SDZ, the planning scheme for the area included provision for approximately 550 affordable homes. Delivery of these homes was to be arr...More Button

On the first part of Deputy Ó Broin's question, if we examine the different schemes in place now, we are talking about delivering about 29,000 affordable homes. That is growing and work is happeni...More Button

I turn now to cost reduction for renters. On cost rental we are talking about 15% to 25%, depending on how the scheme has been funded, what land was used, the interest rate at which the finance ...More Button

Was asked: the reports he is considering changing the rules in relation to offers of accommodation to social housing applicants which may result in an applicant being suspended from the list if they refuse tw...More Button

Was asked: if the plans to change the policy on offers of social housing to require a five year wait for a further offer if two are refused will be clarified; his views on whether some flexibility is required...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 28 and 62 together.More Button

The current position in relation to the refusal by households of offers of social housing dwellings is set down in regulation 12 of the social housing allocation regulations 2011, which were made...More Button

Under regulation 12, a household that refuses two reasonable offers of social housing tenancies in any 12 month period, other than an offer made under the choice based letting procedure, will not...More Button

For these reasons, I will soon be proposing to amend the regulations to provide that a household that refuses two reasonable offers in any 12 month period, other than an offer made under the choi...More Button

The latter period will not be reckonable subsequently for the purposes of determining the household’s relative priority for another social housing tenancy. Having regard to the overall level of de...More Button

The first thing to say is that this is part of a suite of measures that we are working on to help people who are in emergency accommodation to get out of emergency accommodation and to help local a...More Button

The local authority is the entity which best understands what the needs of the people on the housing list are and what type of home they need to move into.More Button

Was asked: if his Department has contacted Dublin City Council in relation to cost-benefit and opportunity cost studies of significant vacant lands under the control of the authority which have been earmarked...More Button

Under the Public Spending Code, project sponsoring bodies, such as Dublin City Council, must prepare an economic appraisal, such as a cost benefit analysis or a cost effectiveness analysis, for cur...More Button

My Department is working with Dublin City Council and DPER to ensure that the critical appraisal process is carried out in a robust manner, with the minimum impact on project delivery timelines. ...More Button

My Department continues to work closely with all local authorities to support accelerated delivery of new social and affordable homes on their residential land banks, with particular emphasis on ...More Button

Was asked: his views on whether legislation allowing developers to deliver 10% of social housing units required per development off site is acceptable in the housing emergency in Dublin and nationally; if the...More Button

Local authorities have been advised in Guidelines on Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000, issued under section 28 of the Act in January 2017, that the priority option to be pursued in r...More Button

Was asked: the way in which he plans to utilise the cost rental model of housing; and the timeline and quantity for which he plans to utilise this model for the provision of homes in the next five years. More Button

Was asked: further to Parliamentary Question No. 299 of 8 November 2018, the status of the cost rental housing project at a location (details supplied); if the project has gone to tender; the estimated comple...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 75 and 245 together.More Button

Given the affordability challenge faced by renters in Dublin and other parts of the country, the Government is committed to the introduction of a not-for-profit, cost rental sector in Ireland. To...More Button

There are currently two cost rental pilot projects being advanced in Dublin, at Enniskerry Road in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, and Emmet Road in Inchicore. The pilot projects will deliver 50 and 330 ...More Button

The Emmet Road project is of critical importance, both as part of the Government’s cost rental programme, but more importantly to the community of Inchicore and Kilmainham. Therefore, Dublin City...More Button

More broadly, the experience gained from these projects is informing the national approach to cost rental delivery at scale. My Department is engaged with the Housing Agency, the National Develop...More Button

In order to support local authorities in delivering affordable homes, including cost rental, €310 million is being made available from 2019 until 2021 under the Serviced Site Fund (SSF). The SSF ...More Button

  Question No. 76 answered with Question No. 31.More Button

Social and Affordable Housing (Continued)

In our models, the cost reduction with respect to the market rent grows to about 40% over time because the market rent continues to increase at market rates while the cost-rental rent does not. It...More Button

I thank the Deputy for the follow-up questions. The affordability schemes were already there but I very much appreciate Fianna Fáil's support for additional funding for the existing affordability ...More Button

-----several schemes already were functioning very well. The Rebuilding Ireland home loan is more successful than anyone anticipated.More Button

Just under 10,000 people have been able to purchase their first home through the help-to-buy scheme, which is fantastic. Other things are also happening, as I referenced in my first reply.More Button

On the regulations for priority of access to affordable homes or schemes, it is unfair to suggest the fact that the regulations have not been finalised is delaying anything because we already hav...More Button

I am not sure how the time works when two priority questions are grouped together. More Button

Do people have time to contribute again?More Button

The Fianna Fáil affordable housing scheme?More Button

I thank both Deputies for their follow-up questions. Again, I thank Deputy Darragh O'Brien for his support for Rebuilding Ireland and the Rebuilding Ireland home loan. It is really welcome to hea...More Button

I also thank him for supporting the serviced sites fund for affordable housing, which was in existence before the budget. The idea of using local authority land was not Fianna Fáil's idea, because...More Button

It was our way of ensuring security for the provision of affordable housing. That is a fact on the record. I was in the meetings too.More Button

Deputy Ó Broin's questions concerned the cost-rental model and financial modelling. A lot of work has been done with the EIB and the National Development Finance Agency, NDFA. Some of it is site ...More Button

I have the order of priority for access to the scheme. In the first instance, this relates to affordable purchase. Once people apply, the first question will be whether the housing is suitable ...More Button

That is the current order of priority in the regulations. I ask people to consider those criteria and to come back very shortly on whether it is the right priority order. I believe it is, but I...More Button

The limit is €75,000 for a couple and €50,000 for an individual. That has not changed.More Button

They have great flexibility. They have flexibility within the current policy and flexibility within the changes to be able to work with those families to get the best home. We are talking about t...More Button

The current policy is two refusals and the person is suspended for a year. What we are talking about is extending the period of time to act as a deterrent to people who are not accepting houses fo...More Button

As Deputies got extra time, I would like some extra time as well because it is an important issue. I have no problem with coming before the Oireachtas joint committee, as I do regularly, and I wil...More Button

Deputy Ó Broin said I do not know the full facts. With respect, many Deputies come to me with cases which seem to be genuine hardship cases, and they bring them to me for genuine reasons, but wh...More Button

That is what we are rolling out. There are more than 70,000 people waiting for a social housing home. Some of those people are being kept from moving into their homes because people ahead of them...More Button

Rental Sector

Was asked: the steps he will take to counter price setting by institutional landlords (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The February 2019 report on institutional investment in the housing market prepared by the economics division of the Department of Finance examines the role of institutional investors and large-sca...More Button

The report acknowledges that the purchasing and ownership activity of such firms can be more pronounced at a local level, particularly in the context of the apartment market. In the main, the re...More Button

The report highlights that there may be a risk that such firms could scale up over time to develop monopolistic or oligopolistic pricing power. However, the report also notes that there is curre...More Button

Rental Sector (Continued)

In fact, 70% owned just one property. Furthermore, the Department of Finance report focuses exclusively on apartments for analysis and comparators, whereas the market consists of both apartments a...More Button

Part 3 of the Residential Tenancies Act prescribes the legal procedures for the setting and review of rents. Section 19 prohibits the setting of a rent above the market rent. Essentially, the a...More Button

I thank the Deputy for the follow-up question. He talked about a trend; it is not a trend. Some 1% of transactions in 2017 is not a trend. A proportion of 4.6% of the stock is not a trend. The ...More Button

The Deputy spoke about the trend concerning institutional investors. We need more institutional investors because they increase the supply of apartments. We need tens of thousands of additional...More Button

I thank the Deputy. I did not give him a lecture about statistics; I pointed out where he was wrong and how that lack of knowledge or ignorance is, unfortunately, leading to the statements he is m...More Button

-----own only one property. It is not a case of big institutional landlords coming in and taking the approach the Deputy believes they are taking.More Button

He is completely mischaracterising our landlord sector. It is doing a lot of damage for renters or others who might invest in becoming a landlord, thus making a rental property available to a youn...More Button

The report refers to 1% of transactions in 2017 involving institutional landlords and the stock proportion being 4.6%. It states this is low. A rate of 4.6% is low in any market but, of course,...More Button

Local Authority Housing Data

Was asked: the details of local authority houses built in 2018 in each local authority.More Button

I thank the Deputy for the question.

  Details on the 2018 social housing output against target, broken down by local authority area, have just been published on the stati...More Button

It is a rather large table so it is difficult to elaborate on it. The Deputy asked what Dublin City Council provided over the course of 2018. There were 264 new builds by the local authority. Th...More Button

Was asked: the number of local authority dwellings that were refurbished in 2018 under the voids programme by local authority; if the funds originally allocated to each local authority were drawn down; and if...More Button

The voids programme provides additional support to local authorities in preparing vacant social homes for re-letting, particularly homes that would likely remain vacant for a significant period of ...More Button

Was asked: the number of houses acquired and purchased by Cavan and Monaghan county councils from 2013 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Details of the number of houses that have been built and acquired by local authorities, including in counties Cavan and Monaghan, in each of the years 2013 to end Quarter 3 of 2018, are published a...More Button

Details in respect of Quarter 4 of 2018  will be published shortly. Similar details for 2019 will be published on a quarterly basis. More Button

Was asked: the number of local authority housing tenancies entered into in the past 12 months; the number of tenancies arranged between approved housing bodies and local authority housing applicants in the sa...More Button

My Department does not hold information on the number of social housing tenancies entered into by local authorities or Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) each year. The allocation of social housing dw...More Button

Local Authority Housing Data (Continued)

That brings the total supports provided in Dublin City Council, including housing assistance payment and the rental accommodation scheme, to a little less than 4,000. The council achieved 81% of i...More Button

According to my figures, the total build for Dublin City Council is 850 properties, while the target was 1,045. The council did not reach the target, achieving a little more than 80%. We must be ...More Button

A task force is being brought in for Galway city and county because the councils there are not performing as we want them to. Difficulties may exist between county boundary areas, as was the cas...More Button

Approved Housing Bodies

Was asked: the terms of the payment and availability scheme for approved housing bodies; and the amount paid out to housing bodies under the scheme.More Button

Was asked: the efforts being made to have approved housing bodies reclassified as off balance sheet. More Button

My Department is continuing its work on the issue of reclassification, by Eurostat, of the majority of Tier 3 Approved Housing Bodies as part of the Government sector for accounting purposes.  It i...More Button

The Department has also had constructive discussions with the AHB representative bodies. The sector itself has engaged its own research on the matter, and has put forward its own proposals. My De...More Button

Notwithstanding the decision by Eurostat, the Government continues to see a central role for the voluntary housing sector in contributing to delivery of social housing under Rebuilding Ireland. I...More Button

Traveller Accommodation

Was asked: the steps he will take in view of the findings of the European committee on social rights that Ireland remains in violation of the European social charter on five grounds for Travellers by failing ...More Button

Was asked: the number of Traveller-specific accommodation units built in 2018; and the targets in place for 2019 and 2020.More Button

Was asked: the rationale for the 44% underspend in the Traveller accommodation budget for 2018; and the efforts he is making to ensure there is a 100% draw-down of funding by local authorities in 2019. More Button

Was asked: his plans to rectify, as a matter of urgency, fire safety for Travellers in circumstances in which fire safety regulation exemptions on temporary emergency sites exist and there is no time limit on...More Button

Was asked: his plans to address fire safety for Travellers in circumstances in which fire safety regulation exemptions on temporary emergency sites exist and there is no time limit on such sites remaining as ...More Button

Housing Data

Was asked: his views on the Central Statistics Office, CSO, house build completion data for 2018; and the steps he is taking to ensure house building targets for 2019 are reached in view of the fact the 2018 ...More Button

Housing is, and will remain, a top priority for the Government. The latest statistics from the Central Statistics Office, released earlier this month, show that very significant progress is being ...More Button

More new homes were built in 2018 than in any other year this decade. Much of this can be attributed to the Government's overall management of the economy, as well as to specific actions under R...More Button

Was asked: the number of rapid build housing units that have been constructed to date and occupied; the number of additional units expected to be completed before the end of 2019; and if he will make a statem...More Button

Statistical information in relation to social housing delivery across all delivery streams, including rapid delivery, is published on my Department's website at the following link: More Button

Was asked: the expressions of interest received by the end of October 2018 for the enhanced long-term social housing leasing scheme; the number of housing units he expects the scheme to yield by each local au...More Button

A range of housing options are necessary to ensure a supply of accommodation to meet different types of social housing need. Harnessing the off-balance sheet potential of private investment in soci...More Button

My Department has introduced the Enhanced Long Term Social Housing Leasing Scheme in order to target newly built or yet to be built houses and apartments for long term leasing, and to target prop...More Button

The first call for proposals for the Enhanced Leasing Scheme was open from January to April 2018 and a total of 33 submissions were received.  The second call for proposals closed on 25th October...More Button

My Department and the Housing Agency continue to work with local authorities and proposers in respect of the Enhanced Leasing Scheme, and the leasing schemes generally, in order to ensure maximum...More Button

Housing Data (Continued)

Somebody also originally changed my gender in the question; therefore, we apologise if something was lost in translation. More Button

The Deputy might be misreading the Rebuilding Ireland plan with the selective quote mentioned. What we have always spoken about in Rebuilding Ireland is ramping up to a point where we will be pr...More Button

I thank the Deputy for the question. He is misrepresenting the targets set in Rebuilding Ireland. The confusion is not on my side.More Button

The Deputy is quoting out of context. I cannot see what else is around the sentence. Nobody suggested we would build 25,000 homes in 2016 or 2017.More Button

It was always about ramping up to 25,000 units per year and maintaining that number.More Button

A new ambition was to bring it to 35,000 homes per year under Project Ireland 2040. I thank the Deputy for welcoming the increase in housing numbers happening under Rebuilding Ireland and recognis...More Button

No. The Deputy is using statistics to misrepresent the position. That is not what is happening. We have seen a dramatic increase in home building under Rebuilding Ireland.More Button

I am just glad that the Deputy is accepting that Rebuilding Ireland is working. It is the plan and driving house delivery.More Button

We still have to hear what Sinn Féin's plan would be to replace Rebuilding Ireland as it takes every opportunity to state we should throw it out. That is despite the fact that it is working to inc...More Button

Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation (Continued)

I thank the Deputy for the question. I cannot speak to individual cases but I am very sorry this person has been waiting so long for support. In 2018 we supported more than 27,000 families and in...More Button

Local Authority Housing

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the supply of new local authority housing is meeting demand.More Button

Was asked: the details of new homes provided by local authorities in 2018 under the various categories of provision including build, lease, voids refurbishing and acquisition by local authority; and if he wil...More Button

Was asked: the number of direct build social houses delivered by all 31 local authorities in 2018 excluding those built by approved housing bodies and Part V; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 26, 38 and 58 together.More Button

Qualified households on social housing waiting lists can have a wide variety of housing needs and it is therefore important that there is a blend of social housing delivery mechanisms available t...More Button

Just over two years ago there were over 90,000 households on local authority housing waiting lists.  By June 2018, the number had reduced to less than 72,000 and this trend is expected to continu...More Button

In January 2018, I committed to publishing individual targets for housing delivery in each local authority area to enable greater transparency and accountability when it comes to increasing the s...More Button

Data in relation to 2018 social housing output against target, broken down by local authority area, has just been published on the statistics page of my Department's website. Overall, a very stro...More Button

Looking specifically at build, acquisition and leasing schemes, Rebuilding Ireland supported local authorities to deliver 8,422 homes to households on their waiting lists in 2018. This included:More Button

- 3,410 local authority and AHB new build, 2,022 of which were delivered through local authorities, plus 841 local authority and AHB Part V homes, bringing the overall new build figure for 2018 ...More Button

- 560 voids;More Button

- 2,610 local authority and AHB acquisitions, up 17% on 2017; and More Button

- 1,001 local authority and AHB leases, up 21% on 2017.More Button

The evolution of the social housing programme is clear from the overall 2018 performance.  While the level of new build social housing homes was more than 8 times the level in 2015, the year befo...More Button

I recognise that the blend of delivery will vary across areas depending on local circumstances. However, my message to local authorities has been consistent and it is a message that every possibl...More Button

  Questions Nos. 27 to 31, inclusive, answered orally.More Button

Was asked: if he is satisfied that none of the renovated voids completed in 2018 were leased to tenants prior to renovation.More Button

The purpose of the voids programme, funded by my Department, is to support local authorities in returning vacant social homes to use as quickly as possible, particularly homes that would likely rem...More Button

My Department does not collate data on the letting history of local authority properties submitted for refurbishment under the voids programme. Indeed, the tenanting of social homes is a matter f...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the situation facing residents at a location (details supplied); if the local authority has raised the case with his Department; and if supports will be provided ...More Button

A number of measures have been introduced in recent years with the objective of improving security of tenure for tenants.  Security of tenure provisions under the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-20...More Button

The so-called ‘Tyrrelstown amendment', included in the 2016 Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act, already limits the ability of landlords to use the grounds of sale to...More Button

The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015, enacted on 4 December 2015, provided for notice periods for the termination of further Part 4 tenancies, i.e. tenancies that extended beyond 4 year...More Button

The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Acts to operate a national tenancy registration system and to resolve disputes between landlords a...More Button

Further information from the RTB is available at https://onestopshop.rtb.ie/ and through the RTB helpline - Lo-call on 0818 30 30 37 (mobile operators may charge a premium rate to the Lo-call num...More Button

The national housing charity, Threshold operates the Tenancy Protection Service (TPS) which is a national service providing advice and support to households living in private rented accommodation...More Button

Households at risk of becoming homeless can seek assistance from their local authority.  Any household assessed as eligible for social housing is immediately eligible for housing support through ...More Button

The Homeless HAP Placefinder can engage directly with property owners, support qualified households to find suitable tenancies and ensure that any additional supports that may be needed are put i...More Button

As the case in question is in the Dublin region, tenants affected can contact the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive's Central Placement Service homeless helpline at 1800-707-707. More Button

Home Loan Scheme

Was asked: the status of the allocations of the Rebuilding Ireland home loan; if further allocations will become available; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan launched on 1 February 2018. Prior to its launch, an initial tranche of €200 million of long-term fixed-rate finance was borrowed by the Housing Finance Agency to p...More Button

When the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan was initially being developed it was estimated that the drawdown of loans under the scheme would be approximately €200 million over three years. From the dat...More Button

My Department is currently in discussions with the Departments of Public Expenditure and Reform and Finance with regard to an extension of the scheme in this regard. When these discussions are co...More Button

Was asked: the number of applications to the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme processed by the Housing Agency; the number recommended by the agency; the number refused; the number sent back for further inf...More Button

The Housing Agency provides a central support service which assesses applications for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan on behalf of local authorities and makes recommendations to the authorities to...More Button

Each local authority must have in place a credit committee and it is a matter for the committee to make the decision on applications for loans, in accordance with the regulations, having regard t...More Button

Was asked: the number of Rebuilding Ireland home loan applications received to date by county; the number approved, refused or pending; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As with the previous local authority home loan offerings, loan applications under the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan are made directly to the local authority in whose area the property proposed for p...More Button

Was asked: when extra funding will be allocated to the various local authorities to ensure the continuation of Rebuilding Ireland home loans; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: when further funding will be allocated for applications for the Rebuilding Ireland home loan; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 257 and 267 together.More Button

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan launched on 1 February 2018. Prior to its launch, an initial tranche of €200 million of long-term fixed-rate finance was borrowed by the Housing Finance Agency to...More Button

When the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan was initially being developed it was estimated that the drawdown of loans under the scheme would be approximately €200 million over three years. From the dat...More Button

My Department is currently in discussions with the Departments of Public Expenditure and Reform and Finance with regard to an extension of the scheme in this regard. When these discussions are co...More Button

Vacant Sites Levy

Was asked: if he is satisfied that the changes introduced in the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2018, specifically the removal of provisions in the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015 relating t...More Button

The vacant site levy measure was introduced by the Urban Regeneration and Housing Act 2015.  As part of an on-going oversight and review of the levy, the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 20...More Button

The removal of the possibility of applying reduced or zero rates of levy on specified vacant sites does not impact on the number of sites placed on vacant site registers. The inclusion of sites o...More Button

(1) in the case of residential land, that the site is situated in an area in which there is a need for housing, the site is suitable for the provision of housing, and the site or the majority of ...More Button

(2) in the case of regeneration land, that the site or the majority of the site is vacant or idle, and being vacant or idle has adverse effects on existing amenities or reduces the amenity provid...More Button

While application of the levy provisions is a matter for individual local authorities, my Department continues to monitor implementation of the levy to ensure that it is being effectively applied...More Button

Land Development Agency

Was asked: his views on the fact that the Land Development Agency is not accessible under freedom of information; if information relating to the work of the agency to date on the number of staff employed, ext...More Button

The Land Development Agency (LDA) was established on 13 September 2018 by way of Establishment Order under the Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act 1971. More Button

As set out in Section 6(12) of the Freedom of Information Act 2014, the LDA, being a public body as set out under Section 6(1) of the FOI Act, is not subject to FOI until a maximum of 6 months ha...More Button

There are currently 3 staff working in the LDA who are on secondment from the NTMA.  Expenditure in relation to the LDA in 2018 was approximately €250,000.  This related to professional services,...More Button

In line with the Establishment Order, the LDA will be required to publish an annual report and audited financial statements for each financial year and the audited accounts will be laid before th...More Button

Was asked: the compulsory purchase powers the new land agency will have for the procurement of underutilised private land for the provision of housing.More Button

The Land Development Agency (LDA) was established on 13 September 2018 by way of Establishment Order under the Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act 1971. More Button

On establishment, the LDA had access to an initial tranche of 8 publicly owned sites that have near term delivery potential for 3,000 new homes and an additional potential for 7,000 new homes. Th...More Button

A Land Development Agency Bill is currently being prepared, which will include provisions for the LDA to compulsorily acquire lands, if necessary, to deliver on its mandate. It is expected that ...More Button

Was asked: the number of staff he expects to be seconded from NAMA and the National Treasury Management Agency, NTMA, to the Land Development Agency; if he has had discussions with the Minister for Finance an...More Button

The Land Development Agency (LDA) was established on 13 September 2018 by way of Establishment Order under the Local Government Services (Corporate Bodies) Act 1971.More Button

There are currently three staff working in the LDA on secondment from the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).  These secondments were directly arranged between my Department and the NTMA....More Button

  Question No. 62 answered with Question No. 28.More Button

Urban Development

Was asked: the number of applications for the Project Ireland 2040 urban regeneration fund; the status of the applications; the value of grants that will be issued in 2019; and if he will make a statement on ...More Button

The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF) was launched as part of Project Ireland 2040 to support the compact growth and sustainable development of Ireland’s five cities, regional drivers ...More Button

A total of 189 applications were submitted to my Department under the first call for proposals.  Following a three-staged assessment process, I announced 88 successful proposals in November 2018,...More Button

The projects involved fall into two categories: Category A - projects that are 'ready to go' - and Category B - projects which are at an earlier stage (Master Planning/Feasibility) and which will...More Button

My Department has been actively engaging with successful applicants on the detailed progression of their proposals in 2019.  This process will be finalised shortly, following which project condit...More Button

Funding of €100 million has been allocated in respect of the 88 successful proposals, combining both category A and B projects.  In terms of 2019 spend, while an initial allocation of €71 million...More Button

It is expected that a second call for proposals for 2020 funding will be launched later in Q1 2019 and a workshop for applicants will be organised in advance.  It is envisaged that this applicati...More Button

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the conflict between the legally binding strategic development zone, SDZ, North Lotts plan in Dublin 1 and the recent ministerial guidelines on building height; a...More Button

On 7 December 2018, I issued 'Urban Development and Building Height’ Guidelines for Planning Authorities and An Bord Pleanála, pursuant to Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as am...More Button

Housing Provision

Was asked: his plans to address the lack of housing in County Wexford; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Tenant Purchase Scheme Review

Was asked: his plans to publish the review of the tenant purchase (incremental) scheme 2016; his further plans to change the scheme to make it more attractive; the number of houses purchased under the scheme ...More Button

In line with the commitment given in Rebuilding Ireland, a review of the operation of the first 12 months of the Tenant Purchase (Incremental) Scheme has been completed and a full report has been p...More Button

Rent Controls

Was asked: the actions he will take to reduce rents to affordable levels in view of the fact that rent increases in most of the country in 2018 were multiples of the rent pressure zone limits.More Button

Was asked: the actions he is taking to alleviate the escalating rents in the private rental sector in counties Laois and Offaly.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 42 and 44 together.

  Affordability remains a significant issue in the rental market. Continued economic and population growth coupled with inwa...More Button

  Question No. 43 answered with Question No. 27.More Button

  Question No. 44 answered with Question No. 42.More Button

Pyrite Remediation Programme

Was asked: the status of the establishment of the mica redress scheme; the planned commencement date of the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Was asked: the details of the recent announcement of the mica redress scheme; the date in 2019 from which homes will be repaired under the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

Legislative Process

Was asked: the position regarding the commercial rates Bill; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Local Government (Rates) Bill 2018 is currently before the Oireachtas and completed Second Stage in the Dáil recently.  Given that the current legislative basis for the levying and collection o...More Button

Housing Issues

Was asked: the way in which he can address concerns of residents in areas that have seen large developments of housing stock while ensuring targets are being reached in the Rebuilding Ireland programme; the s...More Button

Under Rebuilding Ireland, some 50,000 additional social housing homes will be delivered through build, acquisition and leasing schemes over the period 2016-2021. In addition, a further 87,000 house...More Button

Overall targets for each local authority are directly proportionate to the housing need in their area and the aim is to deliver the housing required in the most efficient and effective manner thr...More Button

The scale and relevant tenure mix for new social housing developments are, in the first case, matters for the relevant local authority, whether those developments are contracted by the authoritie...More Button

The guidance also recommends that in the case of social housing, the mix of dwellings should have regard to the need to achieve a balance in home types, sizes and tenure, but should be based prim...More Button

I consider that this guidance is appropriate and will support the long-term, sustainable development of communities. In applying this guidance, local authorities or AHBs are not prohibited from d...More Button

Finally, a key determinant of the scale of new social housing developments is the consideration of such proposals by the elected members of each local authority, through the Part 8 planning proce...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Provision

Was asked: the progress being made on reducing the social housing waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the number of houses allocated to families on the various local authority housing lists in the course of 2018; the expectation in this regard in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 50 and 51 together.More Button

Details on the number of households qualified for social housing support in each local authority area are provided in the statutory Summary of Social Housing Assessments, an exercise which has be...More Button

The 2018 assessment shows that 71,858 households were assessed as qualified and being in need of social housing support. This represents a decrease of 13,941 households or 16.2% on the last asses...More Button

In terms of meeting the need of households on waiting lists, Rebuilding Ireland provides for a total of 50,000 social housing homes to be delivered through build, acquisition and leasing programm...More Button

In 2019, funding of €2.4 billion is being provided for the delivery of housing programmes, which will allow for the housing needs of almost 27,400 households to be met.  By end 2019, it is antici...More Button

My Department engages with all local authorities on a regular basis regarding the delivery of social housing. I am confident that the actions, targets and resources available to all local authori...More Button

While my Department reports quarterly on the number of social housing supports delivered through the range of Government funded schemes, this does not take account of other households that may ha...More Button

Was asked: his plans to increase the number of social and affordable houses in County Meath. More Button

The Government's Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness is firmly focused on increasing housing supply and the priority is to support those in society with the greatest housing...More Button

Ministerial Meetings

Was asked: the number of meetings he has had with the Pyrite Remediation Board and the Housing Agency in relation to the pyrite remediation scheme since 2016 with particular reference to the key aspects of th...More Button

Referendum Campaigns

Was asked: his plans to hold referendums in 2019.More Button

Pyrite Issues

Was asked: the action he has taken in relation to the continued failure of the Pyrite Resolution Board to bring forward a resolution to issues in relation to the interpretation of sections 15 and 17 of the Py...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Data

Was asked: the number of new build social houses constructed in Galway city and county in each of the past ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Statistical information on social housing delivery across a range of delivery streams, broken down on a local authority basis, is published on my Department's website at the following link: More Button

Weather Events Response

Was asked: his plans to fully prepare for extreme weather events in 2019 (details supplied); if his Department is monitoring the situation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department is the Lead Government Department for co-ordinating the response to severe weather events. The task of monitoring for, and initial response to, emergencies of all kinds within my Depa...More Button

In addition to the considerable experience of responding to severe weather events over the last decade, much development work has also taken place in emergency management. This is based on a syst...More Button

My Department reviews the response to each severe weather event, with a view to consolidating good practice and identifying issues for further improvement after each event.  A review report has b...More Button

My Department is implementing recommendations within its own remit.  The report's recommendations on national co-ordination and cross-cutting actions are being considered by a sub-group establish...More Button

Departmental Expenditure

Was asked: the annual cost in 2017, 2018 and projected for 2019 of the housing assistance payment, HAP, the rental accommodation scheme, RAS, rent supplement and all other housing assistance payments to landl...More Button

The information requested in respect of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Scheme and the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) is set out in the following table: 

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Private Rented Accommodation

Was asked: if he will address the situation by which landlords in the private rental market seek the deposit and first month's rent in advance of handing over the property while the housing assistance payment...More Button

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme has been structured in a way that protects Exchequer funding, by ensuring that payments are made only on valid and complete applications. For this reason...More Button

Limerick City and County Council provides a highly effective transactional shared service on behalf of all HAP local authorities. This HAP Shared Service Centre (SSC) manages all HAP related rent...More Button

Once a HAP application has been received and confirmed as valid by the relevant local authority, it is then processed by the HAP SSC. On average, HAP applications are processed by the HAP Shared ...More Button

At the end of Quarter 3 2018, there were more than 40,800 active tenancies in receipt of HAP support and  over 25,000 landlords and agents involved in providing accommodation to those households....More Button

Local Government Reform

Was asked: if he is satisfied with the level of readiness of local authorities and the implementation oversight group ahead of the Cork city and county boundary changes; and if he will make a statement on the...More Button

Emergency Accommodation Data

Was asked: the number of adults and children, respectively, that accessed local authority managed emergency accommodation in January 2019. More Button

My Department publishes data on a monthly basis outlining the number of homeless persons accommodated in emergency accommodation funded and overseen by housing authorities. These reports are based ...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Eligibility

Was asked: when the thresholds for entitlement to social housing will be increased; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the status of the review of social housing eligibility; when the review will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 74 and 79 together.More Button

The Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 prescribe maximum net income limits for each local authority, in different bands according to the area concerned, with income being defined and assess...More Button

The income bands and the authority area assigned to each band were based on an assessment of the income needed to provide for a household's basic needs, plus a comparative analysis of the local r...More Button

As part of the broader social housing reform agenda, a review of income eligibility for social housing supports in each local authority area is underway. The Housing Agency is continuing to carry...More Button

The review will also have regard to current initiatives being brought forward in terms of affordability and cost rental and will be completed when the impacts of these parallel initiatives have b...More Button

Was asked: if he is considering or has decided to suspend the social housing applicant file for five years for persons who have refused two offers of accommodation; and if so, the basis on which this decision...More Button

The current position in relation to the refusal by households of offers of social housing dwellings is set down in Regulation 12 of the Social Housing Allocation Regulations 2011, made under sectio...More Button

Under Regulation 12, a household that refuses two reasonable offers of such tenancies in any twelve-month period, other than an offer made under the Choice Based Letting (CBL) procedure, will not...More Button

My Department regularly engages with the local authority sector on this and other social housing policy matters. The refusal of offers can have a serious impact on the administrative process in ...More Button

For these reasons, it is my intention to amend the regulations to provide that a household that refuses two reasonable offers in any twelve-month period, other than an offer made under the CBL pr...More Button

Mortgage to Rent Scheme Data

Was asked: the number of applications made since the introduction of the mortgage to rent scheme; the number of applications successfully granted since the introduction of the scheme; and if he will make a st...More Button

Since the introduction of the Mortgage to Rent (MTR) scheme in 2012, a total of 4,475 cases have been submitted under the scheme to the end of 2018.  Of the 4,475 cases submitted, 3,043 were inelig...More Button

Homeless Accommodation Provision

Was asked: the status of the quality standards framework inspection regime for emergency homeless accommodation; and when the framework will be in place.More Button

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 homeless...More Button

In this regard, the Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) has been overseeing the development of a quality standards framework, coordinating this work in consultation with an advisory group, wh...More Button

Guidance on the national implementation of a quality standards framework will be issued to all local authorities before the end of Q1 2019.More Button

  Question No. 79 answered with Question No. 74.More Button

Rental Sector Strategy

Was asked: the steps he is taking and the progress made in developing an off-balance sheet cost rental accommodation scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Acknowledging that renters in Dublin and other major urban centres are currently facing significant access and affordability challenges, the Government is committed to the introduction of a not-for...More Button

To support the introduction of affordable housing, including cost rental, the Government has made €310m available to local authorities to fund facilitating infrastructure, under the Serviced Site...More Button

Two path-finder cost rental projects are currently being progressed. Firstly, the Housing Agency, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and two Approved Housing Bodies are working on a project at...More Button

My Department is also working with the European Investment Bank to leverage its advisory and research capacity so that broader international lessons on the operation of cost rental can inform Ire...More Button

Was asked: the steps that will be taken to ameliorate the situation affecting families becoming homeless through buy-to-let repossessions; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The appointment of a receiver to a dwelling can cause confusion and distress to tenants and in circumstances where a receiver is appointed to a rented dwelling, it is essential that the rights of t...More Button

Homelessness Strategy

Was asked: the steps being taken to address and eliminate child homelessness; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The latest Homeless Report published by my Department, for December 2018, showed that there were 1,617 families, with 3,559 associated dependants, accessing emergency accommodation.More Button

Rebuilding Ireland, the Government’s Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness, is designed to increase the delivery of housing across all tenures to help individuals and families meet their housin...More Button

The Government is committed to ensuring that families experiencing homelessness receive the best possible supports until they can secure a home. In this regard, Budget 2019 provided an allocatio...More Button

In 2018, my Department provided €48.5m in capital funding to the local authorities for the provision of emergency accommodation. This funding has facilitated the provision of family hubs to prov...More Button

  Question No. 245 answered with Question No. 75.More Button

EU Directives

Was asked: the details of the recently initiated infringement proceedings by the EU Commission against Ireland for breaches of the water framework directive; the nature of the infringements; and if he will ma...More Button

An additional letter of formal notice from the European Commission relating to Infringement 2007/2238, which deals with Ireland's transposition of the Water Framework Directive, was received by my ...More Button

Homeless Persons Supports

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the inconsistent use of the PASS system by different local authorities nationally when registering a person as homeless; his plans to regulate the managing of the...More Button

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 homeless...More Button

The Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS) is an online, shared system utilised by the local authorities and other contracted service providers to manage bookings in State-funded emergency...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which emergency local authority housing provision has been made in respect of each local authority with particular reference to those most affected by homelessness; and if he will mak...More Button

Was asked: the steps still to be taken to accommodate persons who find themselves homeless through no fault of their own while in some cases suffering from ill health; and if he will make a statement on the m...More Button

Was asked: the number of families rehoused by Kildare County Council in each of the past four years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 259, 260 and 265 together.

  Resolving homelessness is an absolute priority for this Government. Budget 2019 provided an allocation of €146m, an...More Button

Irish Language

Was asked: the progress made on implementing all aspects of the 20-Year Strategy for the Irish Language 2010 - 2030 that are relevant to his Department and bodies under his remit; and if he will make a statem...More Button

As set out in the National Planning Framework (NPF), published in 2018, the language planning process, as prescribed in the Gaeltacht Act 2012, represents the primary driver in support of the Gover...More Button

Election Management System

Was asked: if all persons voting will be required to subscribe to and-or be in possession of a public services card in the context of proposals to modernise the electoral registration process; if persons will...More Button

Local Government Fund

Was asked: the level of funding within the Local Government Fund in each of the years 1999 to 2018, in tabular form; and the details of each component of the funding in gross and percentage terms.More Button

Was asked: the level of funding to the Local Government Fund in each of the years 1999 to 2018, in tabular form; and the details of gross increases or decreases in funding and the real terms percentage expres...More Button

Local Authority Funding

Was asked: the funding provided to local government by funding from the Local Government Fund, commercial rates and other sources of funding in both gross and percentage terms.More Button

Local Authority Housing Eligibility

Was asked: if and when income eligibility limits will be revised to address the issues experienced by applicants for local authority housing who find themselves ineligible for a Rebuilding Ireland home loan o...More Button

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is designed to enable credit-worthy first-time buyers to access sustainable mortgage lending to purchase new or second-hand properties in a suitable price range. Th...More Button

Was asked: when the review relating to housing income limits will be published; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 prescribe maximum net income limits for each local authority, in different bands according to the area concerned, with income being defined and assess...More Button

The income bands and the authority area assigned to each band were based on an assessment of the income needed to provide for a household's basic needs, plus a comparative analysis of the local r...More Button

As part of the broader social housing reform agenda, a review of income eligibility for social housing supports in each local authority area is underway. The Housing Agency is continuing to carry...More Button

The review will also have regard to current initiatives being brought forward in terms of affordability and cost rental and will be completed when the impacts of these parallel initiatives have b...More Button

Question No. 267 answered with Question No. 257.More Button

Housing Adaptation Grant Funding

Was asked: if and when extra resources will be allocated to Kildare County Council to meet the requirements of the disabled persons grant scheme and housing adaptation grants; and if he will make a statement ...More Button

2019 funding allocations for both the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, which relate to private housing, and the Disabled Persons Grants scheme, which relate ...More Button

For the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, the available funding is being increased to €71.25 million this year, an 8% increase over 2018 funding. For the Di...More Button

Planning Issues

Was asked: the progress to date towards the reactivation of development at Naas Town Centre, Naas, County Kildare; if all outstanding issues in respect of way leaves and rights of way have been resolved; and ...More Button

As indicated in my previous replies to Questions on this matter, the management of the stalled Naas Town Centre development is a matter for Kildare County Council in the first instance and is one i...More Button

Was asked: the extent to which planning procedures can be expedited to facilitate the building of extra local authority houses with particular reference to the need to make a serious impact on the number on l...More Button

The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 amended section 179 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 relating to the arrangements for the approval by local authori...More Button

Under the new arrangements, which came into operation with effect from 3 July 2017, the maximum timeframe for the determination of local authority-own development proposals is now 20 weeks from t...More Button

These reforms provide greater certainty for local authorities around the decision timelines associated with such own-development proposals, including proposals for social housing projects and inf...More Button

Question No. 265 answered with Question No. 259.More Button

Local Authority Housing Waiting Lists

Was asked: the number of new applicants registered on local authority housing waiting lists in each of the past 12 months; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Details on the number of households qualified for social housing support in each local authority area are provided in the statutory Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA), which has been carr...More Button

Local Authority Management

Was asked: his views on alleged financial irregularities at Cavan County Council; if an investigation was carried out by his Department or the local authority in question; if a report arising from the investi...More Button

An investigation into allegations of financial irregularities in Cavan County Council was completed last year. My Department received a copy of the report of that investigation from Cavan County Co...More Button

My Department continues to engage with Cavan County Council in relation to the matters involved and will be considering what further actions may be appropriate, beyond those being taken by the Co...More Button

Departmental Correspondence

Was asked: further to previous parliamentary questions, the status of information provided to his Department in June 2016 by a person (details supplied); the reason for the delay in providing a final response...More Button

While the delay in meeting the request by the person named for my Department's full and detailed response to the submission in question is regretted, the matter is complex and requires the need to ...More Button

My Department, in consultation with the Office of the Attorney General, is currently finalising its analysis of the submission made by the person referred to, with a view to communicating the out...More Button


 

 

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