Written answers

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Local Authority Housing

11:00 pm

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin North Central, Fine Gael)
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Question 348: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if he will approve a pilot scheme by Dublin City Council to allow some affordable housing to be released under a rent to buy scheme or under home choice or through other approaches in view of the fact that there is a high rate of refusal at present due to the price of units being set quite a while ago and difficulty in obtaining mortgages. [6966/09]

Photo of Michael FinneranMichael Finneran (Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing, Urban Renewal and Developing Areas, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Roscommon-South Leitrim, Fianna Fail)
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My Department maintains close contact with Dublin City Council in relation to affordable housing and any proposals from the City Council in that regard will be fully considered. In addition, the Affordable Homes Partnership has been requested by my Department to examine the position generally of affordable housing on hand in selected areas, in conjunction with the relevant housing authorities, with a view to identifying actions that might assist in the sale of such units. The issues in this regard are under active consideration.

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin North Central, Fine Gael)
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Question 349: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the extent to which the housing budget for 2009 has been used to acquire or lease properties from developers at lower prices than have been available under outstanding affordable or direct build contracts; and the number of housing units he hopes to acquire for social or affordable clients in 2009. [6967/09]

Photo of Michael FinneranMichael Finneran (Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing, Urban Renewal and Developing Areas, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Roscommon-South Leitrim, Fianna Fail)
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It is up to individual housing authorities to plan the composition and delivery of their social housing investment programmes in line with housing needs in their areas and by reference to the Exchequer funding allocations available to them. As part of the preparation of their housing programmes local authorities have been asked to look to the acquisition and leasing of housing units as a means of obtaining good value for money in current market conditions. These programmes will be considered by my Department as part of the annual Housing Action Plan review process which is due to commence shortly.

It is expected that in 2009 good progress will be made in achieving social housing output at a level needed to meet National Development Plan targets. The position in relation to affordable housing delivery is the subject of ongoing review having regard to the rapid changes that are taking place in the private housing market.

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