To ask the Minister for Finance the amount loaned out by Home Building Finance Ireland to date; the estimated number of homes to be built; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
HBFI commenced operations on the 28th January this year and published its half-year progress update in mid-July. The update is available on the HBFI website (https://www.hbfi.ie/latest/home-building-finance-ireland-publishes-half-year-update) and I am advised that HBFI furnished a copy to all Deputies. The key highlights to end June (after 5 months of operations) are as follows:
Since its launch earlier this year HBFI has been actively engaging with small and medium sized builders and developers throughout the country through a range of market awareness raising initiatives. HBFI continues to benefit from a strong pipeline of interest from prospective borrowers as a result of these engagement activities.
The primary objective of HBFI is to increase the availability of funding in the market to developers for viable residential development projects. It is important that appropriate credit, due diligence and legal procedures are adhered to in all areas of the lending process - to safeguard, in so far as possible, the funding provided by HBFI. These procedures require adequate time to ensure the highest standards are met and it is important that HBFI have a consistent approach in all applications for funding.
To ask the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform the status of the issuing of a cost effectiveness analysis guidance document; when the document will be issued; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As part of the ongoing reform of Ireland’s capital management systems, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform is updating the Public Spending Code. The purpose of this update is to strengthen the existing guidance to better align with the realities of project delivery and with a particular focus on improved appraisal, cost estimation and management. The Office of Government Procurement is conducting a review of construction procurement which will align with the updated Public Spending Code.
The updated Public Spending Code will include the following reforms:
The Public Spending Code requirements will still include the need for a financial analysis to assess affordability and an economic appraisal to assess the economic and social value of the project for public investment projects. The Public Spending Code recommends the use of cost benefit analysis or CBA as the economic appraisal methodology for major projects but where CBA is less useful, in sectors such as housing or culture, cost effectiveness analysis or multi-criteria analysis may be more appropriate.
The Public Spending Code requires Departments to draw up their own sector-specific appraisal guidance as appropriate. These are developed by the Department with lead responsibility for the sector and set out additional requirements and parameters specific to the sector, while remaining in the line with the Public Spending Code. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform engages with Departments to ensure that the sector-specific guidance complies with principles and guidance set out in the Public Spending Code.
The revised central elements of the Public Spending Code relating to the appraisal and management of public capital projects will be published this autumn. Further technical guidance building upon these central elements will follow later in 2019 and in 2020.
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