Dáil Éireann - Volume 469 - 09 October, 1996

Written Answers. - Local Authority Housing.

131. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for the Environment the total number of new local authority houses which will be funded in 1996; and the comparative figure for each of the years 1976 and 1986. [17967/96]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment (Ms McManus): The number of local authority houses commenced in 1976 was 7,039 and in 1986, 2,599. In 1996, local authorities have been authorised to start or acquire 3,950 houses, including a small carry forward of houses not commenced in 1995.

132. Mr. Callely asked the Minister for the Environment his policy regarding the provision of bathrooms in local authority houses; the number of houses currently awaiting a bathroom extension; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17968/96]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment (Ms McManus): Funding is provided by my Department under the bathrooms sub-programme to assist local authorities to provide bathrooms-showers in their dwellings which lack these facilities. In addition, the installation of bathrooms-showers may be carried out as part of refurbishment projects under my Department's remedial works scheme. Under these schemes, the capital allocations already [1856] made to local authorities total £170 million, of which £15 million was provided solely for bathrooms.

Returns made by local authorities indicate that, at 31 December 1995, 1,951 of their rented dwellings were without bathroom facilities. I understand that, in the case of some 550 of the dwellings involved, the tenants have indicated that they do not wish at this stage to have a bathroom or shower installed.

Local authorities have a legal obligation to provide bathroom facilities in their rented dwelling by 1 January 1998. I am satisfied that, with the financial assistance available from my Department, authorities should be capable of complying with this deadline.