Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Environment, Community and Local Government

Social and Affordable Housing Provision

Photo of Richard Boyd BarrettRichard Boyd Barrett (Dún Laoghaire, People Before Profit Alliance)
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435. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government regarding the recent social housing strategy if he will provide a breakdown of the 35,000 homes that are planned for the period to 2020; if he will also provide a breakdown of the number of these that will be directly built council houses, with a breakdown per local authority; the number that will be provided for by approved housing bodies, AHBs, with a breakdown of the number per AHB and per local authority and the names of these approved housing bodies; the number that will be provided by the social housing leasing initiatives and a breakdown per local authority; and if he will divide all these figures between phase 1 2015-2017 and phase 2 2017-2020. [47185/14]

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary North, Labour)
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The Social Housing Strategy 2020: Support, Supply and Reform, approved by Government and published last month, builds on the provisions contained in Budget 2015 and sets out clear, measurable actions and targets to increase the supply of social housing, reform delivery arrangements and meet the housing needs of all households on the housing list.

In committing to provide 35,000 new social housing units, at a projected cost of €3.8 billion, the strategy marks a fresh start for social housing in Ireland. It is estimated that this level of investment will create or sustain some 29,000 construction industry jobs. Importantly, the Strategy restores the State to a central role in the provision of social housing through a resumption of direct building on a significant scale, primarily by local authorities and approved housing bodies.

Over the 6 years of the strategy, I anticipate that the 35,000 units will be delivered as follows: 22,273 units to be built and acquired utilising both current and capital monies; 11,000 units to be leased; and 2,300 units to be supplied through the refurbishment and bringing back in to use of vacant local authority stock.

The strategy will be delivered in two phases. Phase 1 targets the delivery of 18,000 additional housing units and 32, 4 00 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) units, by the end of 2017. In phase 2, spanning the years 2018 to 2020, the strategy targets the delivery of 17,000 additional units and 43,000 Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) units.

While proposals for delivery of social housing at local authority level is a matter for individual authorities taking account of statutory functions under the Housing Acts 1966 to 2014, proposals must be cognisant of measures outlined in the strategy. For 2015, I expect that some 7,400 new social housing units will be provided under the range of existing initiatives broken down as follows: 3,000 units through the leasing initiative; 2,000 new Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) units; 1,000 vacant local authority units will be refurbished and brought back to use; with a further 1,400 units to be built or acquired by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies through the Social Housing Investment Programme and Capital Assistance Scheme. A further 8,400 households will be assisted through the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).

The strategy provides a clear governance structure, which I will personally oversee, to ensure delivery. Action 1 of the Strategy requires the agreement of targets for delivery of social housing next year and in subsequent years. These specific targets will be agreed through the governance structure , which is currently being put in place, in collaboration with local authorities and with input from the approved housing body sector.

The Strategy also provides for a dedicated work-stream to provide for an enhanced role for Approved Housing Bodies in the provision of new supply. A number of actions are proposed that will help to promote optimal configuration of what is a very diverse sector, and encourage the formation of the large scale providers that the sector needs.


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