Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Urban Regeneration and Development Fund
48. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if housing schemes that were listed on the original local infrastructure housing activation fund, LIHAF, scheme and submitted by the local authority can be prioritised for funding under the urban regeneration fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51875/19]
76. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government when the next opportunity for applications under the urban regeneration fund will open; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51876/19]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 76 together.
The Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) was designed to activate housing supply by putting in place the enabling public infrastructure necessary to ensure that large scale development could take place on key sites in urban areas of high housing demand. Funding of €200 million was originally made available under LIHAF, of which €150 million would be provided by the Exchequer with local authorities providing matching fund of €50 million. Approval was given for 30 projects under LIHAF in 2017 and these projects will stimulate the development of approximately 20,000 homes across 14 local authorities.
The LIHAF projects are progressing, with two projects completed and almost half of all projects at construction stage. My Department is currently reviewing progress on the remaining projects and will complete a LIHAF update by the end of the year. Over 1,800 homes associated with the infrastructure delivery have been delivered to date, with a further 4,000 homes expected to be delivered in 2020.
The Urban Regeneration and Development Fund (URDF), announced in November 2018, is a flagship element of Project Ireland 2040 and is supported by funding of €2 billion over the period to 2027. The URDF was established to support more compact and sustainable development, through the regeneration and rejuvenation of Ireland’s five cities and other large towns, in line with the objectives of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan. This will ensure that more parts of our urban areas can become attractive and vibrant places in which people choose to live and work, as well as to invest and to visit. While it is not intended that the URDF would provide direct support for particular housing projects, public infrastructure that might previously have been appropriate to a LIHAF application could be included in a URDF application in support of compact urban growth. Through the Fund, successful applicants are being offered targeted integrated support for applicant-led projects that will contribute to the regeneration and rejuvenation of our cities and towns.
Although submission of funding applications and the advancement of each project is, in the first instance, a matter for each applicant, my Department is working closely and actively with them to ensure that the projects receiving URDF support come to fruition as soon as possible. The 88 projects approved under the first call offer a good regional spread, and span a number of themes. I will be announcing a second call for proposals under the URDF shortly.