Dáil Éireann - Volume 677 - 05 March, 2009

Written Answers. - Social and Affordable Housing.

[385] Deputy Brian O’Shea asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government his proposals to pass on reductions in interest rates to persons who are purchasing houses under the affordable housing scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9305/09]

  Deputy Michael Finneran: In general, following consideration by its Board, the rates charged to local authority borrowers are normally adjusted by the Housing Finance Agency (HFA) in line with movements in European Central Bank (ECB) rates. The Agency notified local authorities in February of its decision to pass on, in full, the 0.5% decrease announced by the ECB in January. The effective rate for local authority borrowers from 1 March 2009 is 3% — a cumulative rate decrease since October 2008 of 2.25%, reflecting, in full, all rate reductions announced by the ECB in the period October 2008 to date.

Deputy Ciarán Lynch asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the progress made on issues of governance for the voluntary and co-operative housing sector as committed to in the housing policy statement Delivering Homes Sustaining Communities; if he will provide a clear framework for the sector in the development and management of social housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9323/09]

  Deputy Michael Finneran: In line with the commitments set out in the Government’s housing policy statement, Delivering Homes, Sustaining Communities, my Department is currently undertaking, with the assistance of outside consultants, a strategic review of the role of the voluntary and co-operative housing sector in the provision, maintenance, operation and management of social rented accommodation in Ireland. The outcome of the review, which I expect to finalise by mid-2009, will inform policy with regard to, inter alia, future funding arrangements, housing provision and management, governance and corporate responsibility.