Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Local Authority Housing Provision
I wish to be very clear that our Department has no interest in unnecessarily prolonging the time involved in these proposals other than to comply with the Government-wide rules for capital project oversight. Deputy Stanley and many other Deputies want us to do this, so we do it. We have put in place a project that streamlines the process. I can confirm to Deputy Stanley that the parts of the process involving approval from our Department represent a very small amount of the time allocated and do not delay projects unnecessarily. I wish to be very clear on that. He mentioned two projects in Laois. They were not referred to in his initial question. If he had mentioned them in the original question, I would have brought the relevant information with me and analysed it. I am happy to look at the two projects with him. As I said, there is generally a story behind a case when we look at it. Looking back over all the projects that are there, we are now able to reach our timelines. There are some historical projects that for various reasons might take a little longer. The Minister and I also have our housing delivery team and office to help drive on these projects and to work with local authorities.
The Deputy is probably wrong on the quality of the houses. Any houses we have been involved in funding and opening in recent years under Rebuilding Ireland are of a high-quality design and build and are very efficient to run. The majority of them have building energy ratings of A3 or higher. It is wrong, therefore, to put on the floor of the House that we are building low-quality houses. We are not, and I would have to argue with the Deputy on that.