Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Approved Housing Bodies
507. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the actions he is taking to have tier 3 AHBs reclassified as off-balance sheet; the timeline for this reclassification; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20758/19]
My Department is continuing its work on the issue of reclassification, by Eurostat, of the majority of Tier 3 Approved Housing Bodies as part of the Government sector for accounting purposes. It is engaging with the Departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, with technical support from the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) and the Housing Agency (HA), in order to ensure that AHBs can continue to fulfil their full potential in the delivery of the targets set out in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan.
The Department has also had constructive discussions with the AHB representative bodies. The sector itself has engaged its own research on the matter, and has put forward its own proposals. My Department is evaluating these proposals as part of its ongoing consideration of the issue and with regard to their potential wider implications. The Department is also examining measures that could be taken to develop the AHB sector to enable reclassification in the longer term.
Notwithstanding the decision by Eurostat, the Government continues to see a central role for the voluntary housing sector in contributing to delivery of social housing under Rebuilding Ireland. It is committed to using all mechanisms and schemes, including through the AHB sector, to ensure that we maintain the momentum towards meeting the ambitious 50,000 social housing target under the Action Plan.