Affordable housing proposals
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the local authorities that were contacted in relation to the first call for affordable housing scheme proposals; the local authorities which responded; when funding for the proposals will be announced; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government when he plans to issue a 2nd call for affordable housing proposals; if he will publish the relevant criteria arising from local authorities assessment of affordability in their areas; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
In order to support the affordable housing programmes of local authorities, the Government has committed €310 million, over the three years 2019 to 2021, under the Serviced Sites Fund (SSF) announced as part of Budget 2019. The funding is available for key facilitating infrastructure, on public lands, to support the provision of affordable homes to purchase or rent. I envisage a maximum amount of SSF funding of €50,000 per affordable home and on this basis at least 6,200 affordable homes could be facilitated.
A first call for proposals under the Fund issued to the four Dublin local authorities; Kildare, Meath, Wicklow, Louth and Cork County Councils, and Cork and Galway City Councils.
Fifteen proposals were received, from nine local authorities targeted under this first call. Only South Dublin and Louth County Councils did not make applications under the first call. However, it will be open to those Councils to submit applications under future calls, if they consider it appropriate. I expect to announce funding decisions in relation to the first call applications shortly and for the infrastructure works on approved projects to begin as soon as possible thereafter, with the delivery of affordable homes from late 2019/early 2020 onwards.
More broadly, all local authorities are carrying out economic assessments of the requirement for affordable housing in their areas and the viability to deliver such affordable housing from their sites. Guidance in this regard issued to local authorities in Circular letter APH/02/2018 of 16 October 2018 and my Department hosted a workshop for local authorities on 8 November to discuss these issues.
A second call for proposals under the Fund will be made shortly. The scope of that call will be influenced by the information received from local authorities, as part of the aforementioned assessments, which they have been requested to submit by 30 November.
As to whether the economic assessments will be published, this will be a matter for the individual local authorities concerned as the information contained therein may be commercially sensitive and its publication could prejudice the outcome of contractual or other negotiations with respect to the development of the sites concerned.
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