To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government if the cost rental pilot project has gone to tender; when construction is due to commence; the number of units due to be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Government is committed to the introduction of a not-for-profit, cost rental sector in Ireland. Together with delivering more affordable and predictable rents, cost rental will make a sustainable impact on national competitiveness and the attractiveness of our main urban centres as places to live and work.
Under the cost rental model, minimising retained earnings, land and other delivery costs, while securing very competitive European Investment Bank (EIB) financing, means that affordable rents can be achieved. The final rents, for any given project, will be set after all associated costs are determined, following on from the competitive construction and management tender processes. Cost rental homes will be targeted at households earning low to moderate annual incomes up to a maximum of €50,000 for single applicants and €75,000 for dual applicants.
The Government has made €310m available to local authorities to fund facilitating infrastructure to deliver affordable housing from its sites. The funding is available for cost rental projects and can contribute to reducing costs even further. The terms of any loan funding arrangements put in place for individual projects will be determined on a case by case basis.
Cost rental is new to Ireland and in order to drive delivery, two early mover pilot projects are being advanced, delivering important lessons in terms of cost rental in an Irish setting; one at Enniskerry Road, in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, and one at Emmet Road in Inchicore. It is expected that 50 cost rental units and 105 social homes will be made available on the Enniskerry Road site. It is anticipated that the assessment of tenders will be complete and a contract will be awarded by the end of Q1 2019.
With regard to the Emmet Road site, while this project is at an earlier stage of development, it is envisaged that the final tenure-mix, which will be decided by Dublin City Council, will likely include 140 social housing homes, with the remaining 330 homes predominantly provided under cost rental arrangements. The City Council has appointed a dedicated project manager and a team to drive the project forward and are currently procuring a design for the Urban Design Development Framework Plan which will be completed by end Q1 2019. Thereafter, the Council will procure a multi-disciplinary design team to prepare the project for the planning application stage.
In addition to pre-existing consultative arrangements, the Council is also facilitating a Consultative Forum specifically for this project. The Council has held three information sessions for the public, community and business representatives. The Consultative Forum has met twice and its third meeting, which I will attend, will take place later today. I understand the Consultative Forum plan to establish a number of sub-committees to address issues related to, inter alia, education, social regeneration, community facilities and economic development.
Cost rental will initially be managed on an administrative basis, and my Department is preparing a draft administrative cost rental framework in collaboration with the Housing Agency and the local authorities involved in the pilot projects. The invaluable learning from the above-mentioned projects will inform further cost rental projects to be rolled out across other suitable sites.
My Department is engaging with the National Development Finance Agency (NDFA) and the new Land Development Agency (LDA) to examine the optimum funding and delivery options to support cost rental delivery at scale. My Department is also working with the EIB to leverage its advisory and research capacity so that broader international lessons on the operation of cost rental can inform Ireland's approach
The amount spent and the number of recipients of family hubs in 2017 and 2018; the estimated cost in 2019
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the amount spent on family hubs in 2017 and 2018; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the number of recipients of family hubs in 2017; the estimated number in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of accommodation and associated services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities.
Family hubs offer family living arrangements with a greater level of stability than is possible in hotel accommodation, with the capacity to provide appropriate play-space, cooking and laundry facilities, communal recreation space, while move-on options to long-term independent tenancies are identified and secured.
There are currently 26 hubs operational nationally, offering over 600 units of family accommodation in urban areas. 22 of these are in Dublin, with one each in Cork, Kildare, Limerick and Louth. Further facilities will become operational during the course of 2019, details of which will become available as projects are finalised by housing authorities.
Capital payments amounting to €14.2 million and €48.5 million were made in respect of operational hub facilities in 2017 and 2018. The funding to be provided in 2019 will be dependent on the progress made by local authorities on the development of further family hubs over the rest of the year.
In relation to the operational funding for the family hubs, my Department provides funding to housing authorities on a regional basis towards the operational costs of homeless accommodation and related services. Under the funding arrangements, housing authorities must provide at least 10% of the cost of services from their own resources. Housing authorities may also incur additional expenditure on homeless related services outside of the funding arrangements with my Department. Therefore, the exact amounts spent by housing authorities on homeless services, as well as the types of accommodation and the service providers engaged, are a matter for those authorities. Financial reports from each of the regions, setting out expenditure on homeless services, including family hubs, in each region in 2017, are published on my Department's website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/node/5498. The equivalent reports for 2018 are currently being prepared by housing authorities.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the amount spent on the housing assistance payment per annum since its establishment; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the number of recipients of the housing assistance payment since its inception; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. Data to end 2018 is not yet available; however, at the end of Quarter 3 2018, there were more than 40,800 households having their housing needs met via HAP and some 25,500 separate landlords and agents in receipt of monthly HAP payments.
HAP is funded through a combination of Exchequer monies and tenant differential rents collected in respect of HAP tenancies. Budget 2019 has increased the Exchequer funding for the HAP scheme to €422 million. This will allow for the continued support of existing HAP households and also enable the additional 16,760 households targeted under Rebuilding Ireland to be supported by HAP in 2019, as well as supporting the roll-out of the Homeless HAP Place Finder Support Service across the country.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the number of units provided through the repair and lease scheme in 2017 and 2018; the cost per annum; the estimated cost and number of units in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
At the end of Q3 2018, a total of 1,214 applications had been received from property owners under the Repair and Leasing (RLS) scheme; 48 homes had been brought back into use and were tenanted; and 122 agreements for lease had been signed. A detailed breakdown of the RLS scheme data by local authority up to end Q3 2018 is available on my Department’s website at the following link:
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the amount spent on the rental accommodation scheme in each of the years 2011 to 2018; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the number of recipients of the rental accommodation scheme in each of the years 2011 to 2018; the estimated cost in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Data for the years 2011 to 2017 on the number and cost of tenancies funded under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) scheme is available on my Department's website at the following link: http://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision.
The most recent RAS data reflects the number of tenancies in place at end October 2018, when there were a total of 19,062 tenancies supported under the scheme. Data in respect of the last quarter of 2018 is being compiled by my Department.
I am providing €134.3 million to support the cost of RAS in 2019 and this funding will go towards supporting 600 additional RAS tenancies targeted to be achieved by local authorities in 2019 and the ongoing cost of supporting continuing RAS contracts in place at the end of 2018.
It is not possible to accurately predict the number of tenancies that will be supported by RAS at the end of 2019 as numbers in RAS vary as contracts end, tenants move on to other properties, landlords join or withdraw from the scheme, new tenancies are allocated or vacancies in contracted units are filled. Furthermore, towards 2021, as the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme continues to be rolled out nationally and replaces Rent Supplement, it is expected that more RAS tenancies will terminate than will commence.
Nevertheless, RAS continues to be an effective and secure form of social housing support, and remains a significant part of the suite of social housing options currently available to those who are assessed as being in need of housing support.
All Parliamentary Questions I make about Housing, Planning and Local Government and their answers can be viewed in this section