Dáil Éireann - Volume 614 - 14 February, 2006
Written Answers. - Social and Affordable Housing.
Mr. Gilmore Mr. Gilmore
608. Mr. Gilmore asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of completed affordable housing transactions to date in 2006 under the 1999 affordable housing scheme, Part V of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2002 and the Sustaining Progress agreement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5383/06]
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
Mr. N. Ahern: Details in relation to the number of affordable houses completed under the 1999 affordable housing scheme and Part V of the Planning and Development Acts 2000 to 2004 are published in my Department’s quarterly and annual housing statistics bulletins, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library and on the Department’s website at www.environ.ie. The statistics are compiled on a quarterly basis, in arrears, from returns supplied by local authorities. The most recent publication was in December 2005 which related to the September quarter 2005. Under the affordable housing initiative, a total of 1,166 units have been provided to date, including Part V affordable units up to the end of September 2005.
I understand that the information supplied in these returns does not differentiate between completed units and those that have actually been handed over to applicants. Notwithstanding this, I expect local authorities to facilitate the early completion of all the necessary legal, financial and other formalities underpinning the sales process to achieve early occupation of the units.
I am confident that the various affordable housing schemes together with housing to be provided under the partnership agreement Sustaining Progress are all contributing to the Government’s strategy for affordable housing and will deliver substantial output over the coming years. It is estimated that in excess of 15,000 units in total will be delivered from all of the affordable schemes over the next three years.
Mr. Morgan Mr. Morgan
609. Mr. Morgan asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government if, following the publication of the most recent three yearly assessment of social housing needs, which showed that there were 43,600 households on social housing waiting lists, he will, as committed to in reply to Parliamentary Question No. 95 of  25 October 2005, be announcing a new statement of housing policy. [5474/06]
Mr. N. Ahern Mr. N. Ahern
Mr. N. Ahern: In December 2005, the Government launched a new Housing Policy Framework: Building Sustainable Communities which outlines key principles underpinning housing policy and investment over coming years. The framework sets out an important programme of investment and reform to address the key policy challenges highlighted by the NESC report on housing and takes account of the results of the 2005 housing needs assessment and the work of the housing forum in relation to the effectiveness of social and affordable housing provision.
The framework builds on progress to date and proposes an integrated approach to housing in Ireland for the 21st century. It firmly places housing policy in the context of building sustainable communities, with a focus on continual improvement of the quality of housing and neighbourhoods.
As a result of extra capital provision in budget 2006, substantial increased investment in social and affordable housing is outlined in the framework. This will allow for some 23,000 new social homes to be commenced between 2006 and 2008 and 15,000 affordable homes to be delivered. In total, 50,000 households will benefit over the coming three years from an Exchequer capital investment package of close to €4 billion. Allied to this, a package of reforms is proposed to improve equity, efficiency and effectiveness. The focus is on improving community participation, improving services to ensure personal choice, autonomy and responsibility.
The framework focuses on policies to ensure an effective private housing market; increasing social housing provision, and its quality; reforming the social housing sector; improving pathways to homeownership. A further policy statement will be published during the course of this year which will set out more detailed approaches to these issues.
Dáil Éireann 614 Written Answers. Social and Affordable Housing.