Dáil Éireann - Volume 543 - 06 November, 2001
Written Answers. - Local Authority Housing.
Mr. Wall Mr. Wall
547. Mr. Wall asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the acreage of building land that each local authority has within its land bank; if he has satisfied himself that this figure meets the needs of the local authority in relation to his Department's policy on housing starts; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26945/01]
Mr. Molloy Mr. Molloy
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): Detailed information is not available in my Department on the land holdings of each local authority for the provision of local authority and affordable housing. My Department is satisfied, however, that local authorities generally have adequate land holdings in their ownership to meet the requirements under the four year multi- annual local authority housing programme and for the provision of affordable housing. This is underpinned by the fact that this year, up to the end of September, the housing finance agency has advanced loan finance amounting to over £100 million to local authorities to finance land acquisition requirements. My Department will continue to approve the raising of loans for necessary land acquisition by local authorities as required.
It is the case that in some instances, local authorities have encountered difficulties in acquiring lands that are suitable and serviced for housing development. In some of these instances local authorities have been able to purchase turnkey housing projects from private developers to overcome these land acquisition difficulties. Part V of the Planning and Development Act, 2000, for the first time, obliges local authorities to ensure that sufficient land is zoned to meet housing needs for the period of their development plan. In their housing strategies, authorities must set out the housing needs for the area, including social and affordable housing, and how these needs will be met.
Mr. Wall Mr. Wall
548. Mr. Wall asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the number of affordable housing applications that each local authority has received in the past two years; the number of houses in this category that the local authorities have; if he has satisfied himself with these figures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26946/01]
Mr. Durkan Mr. Durkan
569. Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the number of affordable houses provided for occupancy through the aegis of the various local authorities in County Kildare in the 12 month period to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26983/01]
Mr. Molloy Mr. Molloy
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 548 and 569 together.
Information on the level of activity by local authorities under the affordable housing scheme is published in my Department's housing statistics bulletins, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library. However, information is not available to my Department on the number of applications made to local authorities under the scheme. While activity under the scheme has been slower than anticipated, I am confident that increases in income limits for both scheme eligibility and mortgage subsidy together with an increase in the amounts of mortgage subsidy and the introduction of a site subsidy in June 2000 have made the scheme more attractive to prospective applicants. The number of dwellings in progress by local authorities under the scheme at the end of June 2001 was 667 compared to 381 at the end of December 2000 while proposals by  authorities for dwellings under the scheme had increased by over 70% in the same period.
Question No. 549 answered with Question No. 531.
Dáil Éireann 543 Written Answers. Local Authority Housing.