Written answers

Thursday, 17 December 2020

Department of Rural and Community Development

Covid-19 Pandemic Supports

Emer Higgins (Dublin Mid West, Fine Gael)
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35. To ask the Minister for Rural and Community Development the funding programmes available to urban communities to help communities with the impact of Covid-19 and tackle other societal problems; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [43655/20]

Photo of Joe O'BrienJoe O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Green Party)
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Through my ongoing engagement with the Community and Voluntary sector, I am keenly aware of the challenges faced by the sector and their communities both rural and urban whilst meeting increased demands on many of their services. In order to support the sector, my Department has put in place a number of initiatives including the following.

A €50 million support packagefor the Community and Voluntary Sector, Charities and Social Enterprises was launched by Government and is administered by my Department. This funding is being made available from the Dormant Accounts Fund and consists of the COVID 19 Stability Fund and the Innovate Together Fund.

My Department recently launched a €1.7m COVID-19 Emergency Fund, which community and voluntary groups can now apply for through their local authorities. This follows on from a previous €2.5m round of this fund which was focused on groups participating in the Government’s “Community Call” initiative.

The Community Enhancement Programme (CEP) has provided a total of €7M for capital grants towards enhancing facilities available to communities. The funding is allocated to local authorities and administered by Local Community Development Committees (LCDCs).

On Tuesday 15thDecember, I announced the launch of the COVID-19 Social Enterprise Regeneration Programme to help social enterprises recover from the impact of COVID-19.

My Department currently supports over 420 community organisations under the Community Services Programme (CSP)to provide local services through a social enterprise model. In response to the difficulties being experienced by organisations because of COVID-19, my Department developed a €4.75M Support Fund, which assists all CSP supported organisations to continue to retain their CSP supported employees on their payroll and also provides assistance for the Employers PRSI contribution, during this crisis period and until April 2021.

In respect of the Department’s other programmes, funding commitments are being maintained, and though delays may be experienced in delivery for a period of time it is expected that all projects and initiatives will continue when it is safe to do so.

Information on all funding available through my Department can be found on my Department's website.

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