Dáil debates

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

3:00 pm

Photo of Willie PenroseWillie Penrose (Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing and Planning, Department of Environment, Community and Local Government; Longford-Westmeath, Labour)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 41 and 49 together.

The sixth annual report of the Local Government Management Services Board, published in February 2011, which details service indicators in local authorities in 2009, shows the average time taken, from the date of vacating of a unit to the date when all necessary repairs are carried out, to re-let a unit in each authority. The figures show that some 4,286 dwellings were vacant, accounting for 3.4% of the total national social housing stock of around 126,000 units.

The length of time taken to re-let units varies considerably between authorities and ranges from as little as one week in Limerick City Council to as high as 45 weeks in South Tipperary County Council. I propose to circulate with the Official Report a tabular statement, based on the information set out in the report, outlining the time taken to re-let dwellings in all local authority areas.

It is a matter for each local authority, as an integral part of the management and maintenance of the social housing stock, to carry out any necessary pre-letting repairs and maintenance works to dwellings which are vacated by tenants in order to re-let the units to new tenants within the shortest possible timeframe. Under my Department's social housing investment programme, local authorities are allocated capital funding each year in respect of a range of measures to improve the standard and overall quality of the social housing stock. This includes the carrying out of repairs and refurbishment works on both occupied and vacant dwellings. It is a matter for each local authority to determine the level of resources to be directed towards refurbishing vacant properties from within the allocations notified to them.

The overall capital provision from my Department in respect of improvement works to the national housing stock for 2011 is €31 million. This does not include funding for large-scale regeneration projects and estate-wide remedial works projects which also include retrofitting and refurbishment works on vacant dwellings, for which a further provision of €172 million is being made this year. My Department's improvement works programme is specifically targeting vacant dwellings in 2011 with the objective of returning the maximum number of vacant units to productive use at reasonable cost. In the case of casual or short-term vacancies, a grant of up to €18,000 or 90% of cost, whichever is the lesser, is recouped to the local authority in respect of works to improve the standard and the energy efficiency of a dwelling.

In the case of properties which have remained vacant for a protracted period or properties which have fallen into a state of serious disrepair, a special measure is being introduced this year which will allow local authorities to claim up to €35,000 for each unit returned to productive use. Authorities are required to prepare an Improvement plan for vacant properties for 2011, outlining the number of vacant properties on hands and setting out the proposed measures to improve these properties.

My Department's records show that over the period 2004 to 2010 some €52 million was recouped to local authorities in respect of improvements works on vacant properties. I will also circulate with the Official Report a tabular statement setting out details in this regard.

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.

Average time taken (in weeks) from the date of vacation of dwelling to the date when all necessary repairs are carried out and which are deemed necessary to re-let the dwelling
Carlow County Council17.7
Cavan County Council13.0
Clare County Council18.2
Cork City Council17.9
Cork County Council11.1
Donegal County Council24
Dublin City Council19.5
Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council15.9
Fingal! County Council18
Galway City Council7
Galway County Council30.1
Kerry County Council24.1
Kildare County Council6.9
Kilkenny County Council19.7
Laois County Council18
Leitrim County Council15.1
Limerick City Council1
Limerick County Council40.2
Longford County Council7
Louth County Council8
Mayo County Council18.5
Meath County Council11
Monaghan County Council14.8
North Tipperary County Council12.5
Offaly County Council8.8
Roscommon County Council21.3
Sligo County Council18.6
South Dublin County Council18.7
South Tipperary County Council45.8
Waterford City Council9
Waterford County Council19.5
Westmeath County Council5.2
Wexford County Council9.2
Wicklow County Council25.6

Additional information not given on the floor of the House.

RECOUPMENT IN RESPECT OF IMPROVEMENT WORKS TO VOID PROPERTIES 2004 - 2010
Cavan County Council451,395.00
Clare County Council793,307.00
Cork City Council2,853,410.00
Cork County Council2,108,482.00
Donegal County Council377,536.00
Dublin City Council31,021,448.63
Fingal County Council430,965.00
Galway City Council209,752.00
Galway County Council356,277.00
Kerry County Council2,645,289.00
Kildare County Council134,194.00
Leitrim County Council223,454.00
Limerick City Council1,181,503.00
Limerick County Council547,564.00
Longford County Council762,839.00
Louth County Council702,664.00
Mayo County Council1,371,463.00
Meath County Council1,514,163.00
Monaghan County Council211,002.00
Offaly County Council272,705.00
Roscommon County Council379,677.00
Sligo Borough Council357,555.00
Sligo County Council165,181.00
North Tipperary County Council664,857.00
South Tipperary County Council27,611.00
Waterford City Council1,588,878.00
Wexford County Council712,730.00
Wicklow County Council821,583.00
Total52,887,484.63

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