Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund
757. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the status of an application for funding for the upgrade and realignment of the Ardmore road to accelerate housing provision at Ardmore, Mullingar, County Westmeath submitted by Westmeath County Council under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation fund in November 2016; and if this application will be responded to in a timely manner to enable Westmeath county council install this infrastructure and help address housing supply issues. [39203/17]
A call for proposals under the Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund was issued to all local authorities in August 2016. It was open to all local authorities to apply for funding towards the capital cost of the public infrastructure, which when provided, would secure the early delivery of additional affordable housing at considerable scale, with developments in excess of 500 units in the Dublin area, or in excess of 200 units in areas outside Dublin.
21 local authorities submitted a total of 74 proposals in October 2016. The overall funding sought by Local Authorities was far in excess of the funding available. Westmeath County Council submitted two proposals in respect of Mullingar and Athlone.
On 28 March 2017, I announced funding for 34 projects under the LIHAF. The cost of these projects is €226.46 million, of which €169.65 million would be funded under LIHAF with local authorities funding the remaining €56.81 million. These public infrastructure projects will be key to the delivery of 23,000 housing units over the next four years, with a longer term projection of up to 70,000 units as the selected sites are fully built out.
Westmeath County Council received approval for its project at Athlone, with an allocation of €1.83m. However, due to the substantial oversubscription of proposals, it was not possible to approve other valid and worthy proposals, including the Mullingar proposal referenced by the Deputy, within the funding available.
I am seeking additional funding for LIHAF under the review of the Capital Plan 2016-2021, but it will be a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, to consider in the context of other demands for the available funds. In the event that more funds are secured, proposals that did not receive funding will be reconsidered and Local Authorities will also have an opportunity to advance new proposals that would meet LIHAF objectives.