Dáil Éireann - Volume 515 - 29 February, 2000

Written Answers. - Local Authority Housing.

247. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the funding, if any, his Department has provided for affordable housing in Maynooth, County Kildare, in view of the seriousness of the housing crisis; the number of these houses to be provided in 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6217/00]

248. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the funding, if any, his Department has provided for affordable housing in Naas Urban District Council, County Kildare, in view of the seriousness of the housing crisis; the number of these houses to be provided in 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6218/00]

249. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the funding, if any, his Department has provided for affordable housing in Kilcock, County Kildare, in view of the seriousness of the housing crisis; the number of such houses to be provided in 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6219/00]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 247 to 249, inclusive, together.

The affordable housing scheme involves the provision by local authorities of additional new [821] houses specifically for low income house purchasers on land provided by the local authorities. Housing authorities were requested in April last to assess the extent to which the new affordable housing scheme could appropriately be used in their areas and to formulate proposals for specific developments which should be brought to construction at the earliest possible date. The development of suitable sites, including, where necessary, the acquisition of land, and the planning and construction of houses does, of necessity, require some time to arrange. Local authorities may obtain funding for land acquisition from the housing finance agency. The cost of loan charges relating to land acquired by a local authority to provide houses under the local authority affordable housing scheme will be met by my Department, for a maximum period of three years or until the houses are constructed and sold, whichever is the lesser. Kildare County Council has not sought funding from the Housing Finance Agency for the purpose of land acquisition for affordable housing so the payment of the loan charges in their case has not as yet arisen. In October 1999 Kildare County Council appointed a project officer to co-ordinate the provision of affordable housing throughout the county.

I understand that Naas UDC is currently in the process of finalising plans for a 115 unit scheme at Carragh Road, Naas. Of these, 52 units will be made available under the affordable housing scheme and 60 will be for social housing. The final three units will be made available to disabled persons under the local authority programme. This scheme is due to commence in July of this year.

The county council is also at various stages of negotiations with developers with a view to providing affordable housing schemes at a number of locations, including Maynooth. At present I understand that Kildare County Council has no immediate plans for affordable housing in Kilcock.