Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Local Authorities

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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248. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the amount of funding allocated and drawn down by Wicklow County Council for re-let works on council properties for each of the years from 2018 to date, in tabular form. [17219/22]

Photo of John BradyJohn Brady (Wicklow, Sinn Fein)
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249. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the funding deficit for 2022 in relation to local authority property re-let works in County Wicklow; if his Department is planning to provide increased funding to Wicklow County Council to deal with this shortfall; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17220/22]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 248 and 249 together.

The management and maintenance of local authority housing stock, including pre-letting repairs to vacant properties, the implementation of a planned maintenance programme and carrying out of responsive repairs, are matters for each individual local authority under Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966.

Local authorities also have a legal obligation to ensure that all of their tenanted properties are compliant with the provisions of the Housing (Standards for Rented Houses) Regulations, 2019. Local authority officials and elected members have a very important role to play in this regard by making adequate budgetary provision for housing repairs and cyclical maintenance utilising the significant housing rental income available to them as part of the annual budgetary process.

Notwithstanding the legal obligations on local authorities to manage and maintain their housing stock, my Department does provide annual funding to local authorities to support their work in this area through the Voids Programme. This funding was introduced originally to tackle long term vacant units and is now increasingly targeted to support authority's to ensure minimal turnaround and re-let times for vacant stock.

From 2014 to 2021, expenditure of some €261 million was recouped to local authorities under the Voids Programme which funded the return to productive use of 18,527 properties nationwide.

There has been extensive funding provided particularly over the last two years under the Voids programme which not only catered for standard re-lets but also for vacant properties requiring more extensive works prior to re-let. It is up to each local authority to submit a programme of works based on their individual allocation or targets.

Over the period 2018 to 2021, 240 properties were remediated in Wicklow under the Voids Programme funded by my Department. The table below provides the breakdown of the funding allocated and drawn down by Wicklow County Council by year. This figure does not include properties returned to productive use by the local authority using funding from their own resources.

- Funding

Allocated 2018
Funding Drawndown

Funding Allocated 2019 Funding Drawndown

Funding Allocated 2020 Funding Drawndown

Funding Allocated 2021 Funding Drawndown

Funding Allocated 2018 - 2021 Funding Drawndown

2018 - 2021
Wicklow - €452,145 €494,600 €235,309 €1,310,481 €1,179,514 €1,672,000 €1,411,536 €3,477,081 €3,278,504

In 2018 local authorities were advised of a target number of units under the Voids programme and Wicklow's target that year was 36 units. Funding would be recouped to local authorities on the LAs target number of units provided the costs did not breach the maximum cap of €30,000 and the line item limits set that year, this figure includes Energy Efficiency Works. Wicklow County Council returned 24 units at a total cost of €452,145.

Full details in relation to output up to and including the 2021 programme is available on the link below.


My Department will continue to support local authorities in their work in this area this year and allocations for the Voids Programme in 2022 will issue to Wicklow County Council presently. However, as result of the significant investment from my Department in the Voids Programme, local authorities should also now be in a strong position to begin the transition to a strategic and informed planned maintenance approach to stock management and maintenance.

To that end my Department and local authorities are working to transition from a largely response and voids based approach to housing stock management and maintenance to a planned maintenance approach. This will require the completion of stock condition surveys by all local authorities and the subsequent development of strategic and informed work programmes in response. My Department will support these work programmes by ensuring that the funding available under the various stock improvement programmes are aligned with this approach.


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