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Murphy, Eoghan

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions (Continued)

I did not mislead the House.More Button

I did not mislead the House. The Deputy can check the record.More Button

The Deputy should be careful.More Button

An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business (Continued)

This is a very difficult situation for these people who must now meet a significant expense to remediate certain deficiencies in how their homes were built. It is a very stressful situation and th...More Button

Building standards were not complied with during the boom-time years. Today, unfortunately, certain politicians are looking for us to relax standards once again and to remove layers of oversight...More Button

Of course we want to find a pathway to help these people, but it is difficult to see one that does not take on this enormous open-ended liability on every other taxpayer in the State that the Sta...More Button

On the second part of the Deputy's question, at the time of last year's budget agreement in principle was reached for a scheme for people in Donegal and Mayo where pyrite, pyritic heave and mica ...More Button

I wish to say to the Deputy that this is a revelation today. I was clear with the Dáil and I can direct attention to parliamentary questions on 5 and 26 February but also to previous conversations...More Button

The Rebuilding Ireland home loan is incredibly worthwhile and supportive of people trying to buy their first home. Time and again Deputies have come into the House to say that it is not working....More Button

We have dual applications because people are applying to different local authorities depending on where they intend to buy their homes. We also have cases where some loans are approved but not d...More Button

I thank the Deputy for his question. The matter remains as I explained to the Dáil recently. We are operating on the 2005 guidelines. We have been in negotiations with the Commission following o...More Button

Respect Deputy Murphy O'Mahony.More Button

Departmental Schemes

Was asked: if the regulations for the housing aid for older people grant can be reviewed to allow for an application to be approved for persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The regulations governing the Housing Aid for Older People Scheme were reviewed and updated in 2014, to ensure the scheme's continued capability to support older people living in their own homes an...More Button

Tree Remediation

Was asked: if a policy has been developed in respect of the removal of mature trees in towns and villages nationally by local authorities; if a policy has been developed to assist landowners with concerns in ...More Button

My Department is the Lead Government Department for coordinating the response to severe weather events, including those involving high winds. One of the most widespread and potentially dangerous co...More Button

Tragically, the three fatalities which occurred during ex-Hurricane Ophelia, were associated with falling trees and breaking branches. The fatalities underlined the public safety risk of this eve...More Button

In its role as Lead Government Department, my Department has prepared a review report on the severe weather events which affected Ireland between August 2017 and September 2018. The review report...More Button

The inter-departmental recommendations of the review report on severe weather events in 2017/18,  are under active consideration by the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning. More Button

Water Quality

Was asked: the status of the response of his Department to the letter of formal notice sent in July 2018 from the EU Commission for failing to fulfil its obligations under the drinking water directive (Counci...More Button

On 19 July 2018, the European Commission issued a Letter of Formal Notice to Ireland due to exceedances of trihalomethanes (THMs) levels in some drinking water supplies.  The Commission requested t...More Button

Ireland’s response to the Letter of Formal Notice on 19 October 2018 highlighted the significant progress that has already been made in addressing THM exceedences at public water supplies.  All e...More Button

My Department has not had any further formal correspondence from the Commission since the reply was issued.More Button

Harbours and Piers

Was asked: if a matter will be addressed regarding the condition of a hand rail at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

As Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, I have responsibility for policy, legislation and Oireachtas accountability in respect of the local government system. I also have  policy re...More Button

Local Authority Housing Waiting Lists

Was asked: the number of persons on each local authority housing waiting list by single adults and those with children, respectively, by local authority, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on th...More Button

Details on the number of households qualified for social housing support in each local authority area are set out in the statutory Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA).  Since 2016, the sum...More Button

Housing Assistance Payment Data

Was asked: the number of persons in receipt of the housing assistance payment in each year since it was introduced by local authority; the annual figure spent for each county; the projected spend in 2019, in ...More Button

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is available to all eligible households throughout the State. At the end of Quarter 4 2018, there were over 43,...More Button

Foreshore Issues

Was asked: the number of foreshore licences which have been granted since 2004 under the Foreshore Act 1933; the number of these licences incomplete; the number of foreshore licences within this period which ...More Button

Local Authority Housing Mortgages

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to problems being experienced with the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme in which, due to a lack of a national database of applicants, multiple applications have b...More Button

In accordance with the Regulations establishing the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme, the local authorities are the statutory bodies responsible for approving and issuing mortgages under the sch...More Button

My Department undertook a review of the operation of the scheme late last year. Based on data supplied to it as part of that review, the Department has estimated that time frame for applicants re...More Button

 A letter of loan offer is valid for a period of 6 months from date of issue, subject to the terms and conditions contained therein. More Button

Social and Affordable Housing Data

Was asked: the number of build housing projects that have proceeded to construction in 2016, 2017 and 2018; the number provided by local authorities and approved housing bodies in tabular form; and if he will...More Button

My Department collects, collates and monitors data relating to the delivery of housing under the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan 2016-2021 and publishes data on a quarterly basis relating to deliver...More Button

Rental Accommodation Standards

Was asked: the number of rental property inspections carried out in each local authority in 2018, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the funding allocation for 2019 to be provided to local authorities to carry out rental property inspections; the number of rental inspections that will be carried out nationally in 2019; and if he...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 580 and 581 together.More Button

The Strategy for the Rental Sector, published in December 2016, set out a series of measures to be introduced to ensure the quality of private rental accommodation by strengthening the applicable...More Button

All landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that their rented properties comply with these regulations and responsibility for the enforcement of the Regulations rests with the relevant local ...More Button

Between 2005 and 2017, over €36 million has been paid to local authorities to assist them in the performance of their functions under the Housing Acts, including the inspection of rented accommod...More Button

The Rental Strategy recognises the need for additional resources to be provided to local authorities to aid increased inspections of properties and ensure greater compliance with the Regulations....More Button

Figures in relation to the number of inspections carried out by local authorities in 2018 are currently being collated by my Department and this information will be available on the Department's ...More Button

Housing Data

Was asked: the number of habitable dwellings demolished in each local authority in each of the years 2015 to 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

My Department does not hold data on the number of habitable dwellings demolished in each local authority area.More Button

Vacant Properties Data

Was asked: the number of vacant properties that have been refurbished and have returned to the housing stock in each Dublin local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966, the management and maintenance of local authority housing stock, including the implementation of planned maintenance programmes and carrying out of respons...More Button

Was asked: the average target time for refurbishment of vacant properties in each local authority area; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Vacant properties can be in varying states of disrepair and my Department encourages each local authority to bring these properties back to productive use as quickly as possible.  Statistics in rel...More Button

Was asked: the amount each local authority spent on the refurbishment of vacant properties in its areas in 2016, 2017 and 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Under Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966, the management and maintenance of local authority housing stock, including the implementation of planned maintenance programmes and carrying out of respons...More Button

Housing Assistance Payment Eligibility

Was asked: the basis, under Statutory Instrument No. 84 of 2011, of the decision not to grant HAP in a case (details supplied); the elements within the statutory instrument that apply to this case; and if he ...More Button

Applications for social housing support are assessed by the relevant local authority, in accordance with the eligibility and need criteria set down in section 20 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provi...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 asse...More Button

A household may apply for support to one housing authority only (the “housing authority of application”), which may be the authority for the area in which the household normally resides or with w...More Button

- lived in the area for a continuous 5 year period at any time in the past, More Button

- is employed in the area or within 15 km of the area, More Button

- is in full-time education, or attending specialist medical care in the area, or More Button

- has a relative (defined in the Regulations) living in the area for 2 years or longer.More Button

As Minister, I am precluded by the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 from intervening in relation to the decisions made by local authorities in the assessment of individual households, ...More Button

Regional Development Initiatives

Was asked: when the south-east regional spatial strategy will be finalised; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Planning Guidelines

Was asked: the position regarding the working group comprising officials from planning authorities and his Department, which was established to review and revise the 2005 planning guidelines on sustainable ru...More Button

Following engagement between the European Commission and my Department regarding the European Court of Justice ruling in the "Flemish Decree" case, a working group was established to review and, wh...More Button

Taking account of the engagement with the European Commission on the matter and subject to the completion of the ongoing deliberations by the working group, I will be in a position to finalise an...More Button

Was asked: the changes to planning guidelines he will introduce to speed up and encourage the provision of accommodation in town centres and above existing retail units in view of the fact that the current gu...More Button

My Department has introduced a number of initiatives aimed at encouraging and facilitating the provision of residential accommodation in town centres, including above existing retail units.
More Button

Housing Adaptation Grant Eligibility

Was asked: the reason the period of residence in a house is a criterion for having a stair lift installed by the council as in the case of a person (details supplied); the reason necessity is not the determin...More Button

The detailed administration of the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability in private houses, including the assessment, approval and prioritisation of grants to appl...More Button

My Department has made enquiries regarding the case in question and I understand that it is currently being reviewed at a higher level within the local authority.  More Button

Housing Provision

Was asked: the number of units funded under the social housing current expenditure programme, SHCEP, at the end of 2018, in tabular form; the number of units that will end in the ownership of an approved hous...More Button

Was asked: the type of leases used in SHCEP leases of privately owned units; the length of time of the lease or range of times in use; if the leases allow the owner to withdraw from the lease before its due d...More Button

Was asked: the number of social housing current expenditure programme, SHCEP, leases brought on stream each year since the funding schemes inception by those units permanently in private ownership and those t...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 590, 594 and 595 together.

  The Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme (SHCEP) supports the delivery of social housing by providing financ...More Button

Was asked: if a facility (details supplied) is being used for housing allocation or emergency accommodation; and if he will make a statement on the matter.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 allocation of dwellings is a matter for the relevant housing authority, in accordance with section 22 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009.  However, my Department has been advi...More Button

Planning Issues

Was asked: if he will consider making regulations requiring a person signing a consent form for a planning application on their land to provide contact details in order that the council can contact them to as...More Button

The legal interest of an applicant for planning permission in the land or structure concerned has to be stated in the completed planning application form. Where the applicant is not the owner of th...More Button

Furthermore, an applicant for planning permission or an agent acting on behalf of the applicant is required to sign a declaration as part of the planning application form, stating that to the bes...More Button

In considering a planning application, it is a matter for the planning authority to decide if the information it receives is correct, accurate and fully compliant with planning legislation.  A pl...More Button

In addition, where considered necessary, a planning authority may request further information in relation to a planning application, and also further request clarification of that information, un...More Button

I consider that the current Regulations provide sufficient safeguards to protect the interests of landowners in this regard. Where a landowner has reason to question the validity of a decision on...More Button

Housing Policy

Was asked: the original targets for housing schemes; and the number of units delivered under each scheme to date in tabular form (details supplied)More Button

Data in relation to social housing targets and delivery on a local authority basis, across all delivery streams under Rebuilding Ireland, can be found on my Department's website at the following li...More Button

Questions Nos. 594 and 595 answered with Question No. 590.More Button

Home Loan Scheme

Was asked: the number of Rebuilding Ireland home loans drawn down in each local authority area at the end of 2018, in tabular form.More Button

Was asked: the Rebuilding Ireland home loan budget allocated to each local authority in 2018; the drawdown of these budgets by local authorities in 2018; and the allocations for this loan scheme to each local...More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 596 and 600 together.

  My Department publishes information on the overall number and value of (i) local authority loan approvals and (ii) local ...More Button

Public Spending Code

Was asked: his plans to raise the threshold for the single stage approval process for social housing from €2 million to €7 million; if such a proposal is consistent with the public spending code; the engageme...More Button

A raising of the threshold for the single-stage approval process for social housing construction projects is currently being examined in the context of a review of the Public Spending Code. This re...More Button

In the meantime, the existing arrangements, which covers social housing construction projects with an all-in budget up to €2 million and up to 15 homes, remain in place and available to local aut...More Button

Irish Water Remit

Was asked: if responsibility for further development and expansion of the Edenderry wastewater treatment plant rests with Irish Water or Offaly County Council.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 levels including responsibility for...More Button

Question No. 600 answered with Question No. 596.More Button

Housing Assistance Payment

Was asked: the status of plans to make changes to the HAP system (details supplied).More Button

In terms of the administration of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, Limerick City and County Council provide a highly effective transactional shared service on behalf of all local author...More Button

At the end of Quarter 4 2018, there were over 43,400  households having their housing needs met via HAP and over 25,000 landlords and agents in receipt of monthly HAP payments.More Button

Local Authority Contracts

Was asked: if his attention has been drawn to the allegations that Meath County Council paid moneys to a company (details supplied) for work carried out by another company from the 2008 and 2009 period that s...More Button

Local authorities are independent statutory bodies with responsibility for their day-to-day operations in accordance with the governing legislation and codes. Local authorities must adhere to the r...More Button

In relation to the matter raised, I understand that a review of the payments involved was undertaken in 2018 as part of the 2017 audit by the Local Government Audit Service and the auditor was sa...More Button