To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the number of staff currently engaged by the housing delivery office within his Department; and the number per annum since its inception; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
In line with the commitment under Action 2.9 of Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, a dedicated Housing Delivery Office (HDO) was established within my Department, in August 2016, to support the accelerated delivery of housing across the social and private sectors, and tenure spectrum, in an integrated and timely manner. Working with the broader Housing and Planning Divisions in my Department, other key agencies, local authorities and the construction sector, the HDO supports the roll-out of complex projects, including identifying and resolving barriers to delivery, and monitors development across key sites as they progress.
At the time of its establishment, the HDO comprised a team of 4 people with extensive expertise in project management, finance, planning and local government, including staff seconded from the local government sector and the National Development Finance Agency.
Having carried out a range of initial initiatives, and taking account of the fact that some assignments to the office were time-limited, the HDO was refocused in September 2017 to work more closely on supporting local housing delivery and land management. In that context, the current team is comprised of 2 civil servants with experience of housing delivery and the local government sector. In addition to this complement of staff, the HDO draws on supports from other relevant Business Units in my Department, the local authorities and other relevant public bodies.
More recently, my Department has been engaging with the Local Government Management Agency (LGMA) in respect of the sector's further delivery needs and, against this background, I met with Chief Executives in September 2019 to discuss plans for a newly reconfigured HDO. I expect to receive final proposals from the LGMA in this regard shortly.
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