Written answers

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government

Social and Affordable Housing

5:00 pm

Photo of Bernard DurkanBernard Durkan (Kildare North, Fine Gael)
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Question 169: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his plans to meet the housing requirements of persons in the income bracket below €40,000 per annum currently on local authority housing lists who do not have a home of their own; his further plans to improve their prospects in the short term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16268/10]

Photo of Michael FinneranMichael Finneran (Minister of State with special responsibility for Housing and Local Services, Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government; Roscommon-South Leitrim, Fianna Fail)
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Meeting social housing need remains a high priority for the Government. While ensuring that we can deliver across the full range of needs, the scale and composition of the public housing programme in the years ahead will be dependent on a number of factors, including the level of available funding and the evolution of the housing market generally.

I am determined to ensure that the programme is framed in a manner which continues to optimise the delivery of social housing. To achieve this, it is essential that we tailor the use of available Exchequer supports to prevailing market conditions, and explore alternative solutions to address housing needs, having full regard to the sustainable communities philosophy outlined in the Government's housing policy statement Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities.

To this end, the range of delivery mechanisms continues to be adapted and expanded. For example in 2009, I announced the introduction of a new social housing leasing initiative, through which I expect that a substantial number of dwellings will be provided in the years ahead to meet housing needs, estimated at just over 56,000 households in the 2008 Housing Needs Assessment.

While the allocations for 2010 show a reduction in the provision for the main traditional local authority programme I anticipate that, through more flexible market based delivery mechanisms such as the Rental Accommodation Scheme and the leasing initiative as well as the significant increase in funding available under the Capital Assistance Scheme in 2010 to €145m, delivery across the range of social housing measures this year will be of the order of 8,000/9,000 units.

I will be keeping the leasing initiative and all the other housing programmes under ongoing review to ensure that they are appropriately geared towards meeting the maximum level of housing need.

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