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Murphy, Eoghan

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. Nbr.

Housing Assistance Payment

Was asked: the reason a half-rate carer's payment is assessed as means under HAP but not under rent supplement in circumstances in which those being transferred from rent supplement to HAP are having their ha...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

Public Sector Staff Recruitment

Was asked: the implications of circular letter EL 02/2011 in terms of persons in the public sector being recruited from outside the common recruitment pool (details supplied); if the issues of deterrence, unf...More Button

Public sector employment policy is a matter for my colleague the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform. In accordance with the Department of Finance Circular E100/8/82 of 23 Decemb...More Button

However, the circular includes a provision for exceptions to this overarching governing principle. Where a local authority chief executive is of the view that there are exceptional circumstances,...More Button

Defined Benefit Pension Schemes

Was asked: if a defined benefit pension scheme (details supplied) has been closed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Ervia defined benefit pension scheme is closed to new members. Historically, Ervia provided retirement benefits for the majority of its employees through defined benefit schemes. As part of a p...More Button

Social and Affordable Housing

Was asked: the measure for inflation used in the calculation of the public sector benchmark for the first bundle of public private partnership social housing agreed in March 2019.More Button

Was asked: if there was a risk adjustment included in the public sector benchmark exercise for the social housing PPP contract signed in March 2019.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 210 and 217 together.More Button

A risk adjustment is included in the Public Sector Benchmark (PSB) for Bundle 1 of the Social Housing PPP Programme. This PSB was compiled in full accordance with Department of Finance and Depart...More Button

With regard to the inflation rate that is included in the same Public Sector Benchmark, the most up to date Department of Public Expenditure and Reform guidance concerning the rates of inflation ...More Button

As the Deputy will be aware, it is not possible at the present time to release details of project specific risk adjustment or inflation indices as they are important components of the methodology...More Button

Current policy is that the final PSB, or any elements thereof, is not made public during the tendering process, on the basis that revealing the amount that the State may pay for a service may imp...More Button

This guidance also applies where it is intended to procure further similar projects in the near future. As part of the ongoing Social Housing PPP programme, tenders for Bundle 2 are currently bei...More Button

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform has indicated that following the completion of the construction phase of a PPP, once an appropriate period of time has elapsed and the commercial s...More Button

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Foreshore Licence Conditions

Was asked: if the licence granted to a company (details supplied) for the mechanical harvesting of kelp in Bantry Bay overrides all other licences operating in the area; if fishermen who leave their fishing e...More Button

Wind Energy Guidelines

Was asked: if there will be an increase to the mandatory minimum 500 metre setback distance for the construction of turbines near homes in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. More Button

My Department is currently undertaking a focused review of the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines.  The review is addressing a number of key aspects including sound or noise, visual amenity se...More Button

As part of the overall review, a strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is being undertaken on the revised Guidelines before they come into effect, in accordance with the requirements of EU Dir...More Button

SEA is a process by which environmental considerations are required to be fully integrated into the preparation of plans and programmes which act as frameworks for development consent, prior to t...More Button

These revised draft guidelines were to be published in Quarter 1 2019.  However, there have now been some delays to the planned schedule, due to the recent publication of updated World Health Org...More Button

When finalised, the revised Guidelines will be issued under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended.  Planning authorities and, where applicable, An Bord Pleanála must hav...More Button

Planning Issues

Was asked: the process and timeline for the review of the strategic housing developments' fast track planning; the way in which persons can make submissions on same; and if he will make a statement on the mat...More Button

The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 (the Act) introduced new streamlined arrangements to enable planning applications for strategic housing developments (SHDs)...More Button

The primary purpose of the SHD arrangements is to significantly speed up the planning decision-making process, thereby providing greater certainty for developers in terms of the timeframes within...More Button

The Act provides that the SHD arrangements apply for an initial period of 3 years, until the end of 2019. Section 4(2)(a) of the Act provides that not later than 30 October 2019, the Minister sha...More Button

Following the review,  section 4(2)(b) of the Act provides that  the arrangements may be extended for a further limited period of 2 years, up to the end of 2021 which coincides with the timeframe...More Button

Was asked: the options open to a planning authority in terms of setting conditions to restrict the full sale of a new development to an individual landlord; and the steps he is taking to ensure that local aut...More Button

In respect of private residential developments, the issue of restricting property ownership is generally not a matter for the planning authority, as their prime concern is the appropriate design la...More Button

In relation to developments that specifically apply for permission as long term build to rent developments under the 2018  Sustainable Urban Housing: Design Standards for New apartments- guidelin...More Button

It is important to recognise the positive effects that institutional investment can have in terms of the supply of housing, not least given the scale of housing development envisaged under the Na...More Button

I am committed to improving security of tenure of tenants and I have brought forward additional measures in this regard for Committee Stage of the Residential Tenancies (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2...More Button

The legislation will allow the RTB to initiate an investigation without the need for a complaint to be made. It will also require the annual registration of tenancies with the RTB and significant...More Button

The annual registration of tenancies will provide improved data on the profile of landlords in the market, including institutional landlords, and will be of benefit to my Department in keeping th...More Button

In relation to tenure mix, National Policy Objective 37 of the National Planning Framework requires each local authority to carry out a Housing Need Demand Assessment (HNDA) in order to correlate...More Button

Rental Sector Strategy

Was asked: the additional resources provided to each local authority to enable the implementation of new regulations on short-term lets; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Was asked: the date on which the regulations on short-term lets will be implemented; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

I propose to take Questions Nos. 214 and 215 together.More Button

Under Action 18 of the Strategy for the Rental Sector published in December 2016, a Working Group was established, involving representatives of all major public stakeholders with a policy interes...More Button

Having considered the Working Group's report as well as the recommendations in the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government on short-term lettings, I ann...More Button

As the proposals are primarily aimed at addressing the impact on the private rental market by the use of residential homes for short term tourism type letting, in areas of high housing demand, it...More Button

Under the proposed new arrangements, homesharing will continue to be permissible for a person’s primary residence on an unrestricted basis. In addition, an annual cap of 90 days will apply for th...More Button

Furthermore, where a person owns a property that it not their principal private residence and intends to let it for short-term letting purposes, they will also be required to apply for a change o...More Button

It is important to note that these proposed changes will not affect the operation of holiday homes as typically understood, or longer-term flexible type lettings including lettings to those comin...More Button

The new arrangements are being introduced through the planning code and each planning authority’s enforcement unit will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing these new requirements.  Additi...More Button

It is intended that the proposed planning reforms will come into effect on 1 July 2019 and the  primary legislative provisions required to underpin the proposals are currently progressing through...More Button

Traveller Accommodation

Was asked: when the report of the expert group on Traveller accommodation programmes will be published; if the report will be brought to Dáil Éireann for debate or discussion; if all local authorities will be...More Button

Home Loan Scheme

Was asked: the status of an application by persons (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan is provided by local authorities in accordance with the Housing (Rebuilding Ireland Home Loans) Regulations 2018, which broadly set out the eligibility criteria to ...More Button

To support local authorities in operating the Scheme the Housing Agency provides a central assessment service to the authorities and makes recommendations to them in respect of each application s...More Button

Under legislation, a local authority is independent in the performance of its functions and as Minister, I am precluded from exercising any power or control in relation to any individual case wit...More Button

The person concerned should therefore contact the local authority to which they applied for the loan for an update in relation to their application.More Button

Was asked: the status of the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme; when funding will be made available for the scheme to proceed (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan was launched on 1 February 2018 to replace the existing House Purchase and Home Choice Loan schemes, providing a new line of mortgage finance, including fixed rates...More Button

The HFA borrowed €200 million to fund the scheme, and it was estimated that the drawdown would be approximately €200 million over three years.  Some criticism at the time was that insufficient lo...More Button

The scheme has been more successful than anticipated, and by the end of January, €106m had been drawn down, accounting for 53% of the available funding, at a point at which €66m would have been m...More Button

My officials kept me informed regarding progress on the loan on a regular basis, and have been engaging with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform since October 2018 when higher lending...More Button

I informed the Dáil on 29 January 2019 of the scheme’s success and of the need for additional funding, and further indicated that my Department was in discussions with the Departments of Public E...More Button

Ongoing discussions between the three Departments have included consultation with the Central Bank as recently as last Friday, 5th April.  When these discussions have concluded, I will be in a posi...More Button

In relation to the specific case the Deputy has raised, under legislation, a local authority is independent in the performance of its functions and as Minister, I am precluded from exercising any...More Button

The person concerned should therefore contact the local authority to which they applied for the loan for an update in relation to their application.More Button

Was asked: the remaining budget allocation available for pending applications of the final allocation for 2018 approved to Kerry County Council for the Rebuilding Ireland home loan scheme; and if he will make...More Button

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan was launched on 1 February 2018 to replace the existing House Purchase and Home Choice Loan schemes, providing a new line of mortgage finance, including fixed rates...More Button

When the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan scheme was launched in February 2018, it was estimated that provision of €200m to local authorities, in loans from the Housing Finance Agency, would be suffi...More Button

My Department has been closely monitoring the operation of the scheme since its commencement and has been engaging with the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform since October ...More Button

I have been in discussions with the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform and there have been ongoing discussions between the three Departments, which included consultation with th...More Button

Housing Data

Was asked: the date, location and volume of units of all official openings for social housing schemes for local authority, approved housing bodies or other, or sod turnings he or other Ministers have partaken...More Button

The information sought is not readily available in the format requested and its compilation would involve a disproportionate amount of time and work. However, details of the official engagements at...More Button

Planning Guidelines

Was asked: when the working group will publish the outcome of its deliberations on new rural housing guidelines; and if he will make a statement on the matter.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

Approved Housing Bodies

Was asked: if funding remains in place for a house building project by an organisation (details supplied) at a location; and if he will make a statement on the matter.More Button

Approval in principle for a development of social homes by an approved housing body (AHB), at the location  in question, was given a number of years ago, but the project did not proceed.

&...More Button

Departmental Contracts Data

Was asked: the State contacts awarded to a company (details supplied) over the past seven years; and the contracts delivered according to the original contract.More Button

My Department has no record of awarding any contracts to this company over the past seven years.More Button

Local Authority Staff Data

Was asked: the number of vacant housing officers by local authority.More Button

In August 2017, I requested all local authorities to designate vacant home officers to co-ordinate local actions to address vacancy in their functional areas and also to undertake local vacancy sur...More Button

Each local authority has designated a Vacant Homes Officer and I have also provided funding for each local authority (€50,000 per annum, for a period of two years (i.e. a total of €100,000 to eac...More Button

The Vacant Homes Unit in my Department facilitated a seminar (in October 2018) to allow the network of Vacant Homes Officers meet with relevant Department Officials, ensuring that information on ...More Button

Vacant Homes Officers met with the Department only yesterday at a seminar to launch the Bringing Back Homes Manual for the Reuse of Existing Buildings, another commitment under Pillar 5 of Rebuil...More Button

Was asked: the number of heritage officers by local authority.More Button

Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each Chief Executive is responsible for the staffing and organisational arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local author...More Button

My Department oversees workforce planning for the local government sector, including the monitoring of local government sector employment levels. To this end, my Department gathers quarterly data...More Button