Dáil Éireann - Volume 677 - 11 March, 2009
Written Answers. - Social and Affordable Housing.
Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh
Deputy Aengus Ó Snodaigh asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the number of housing units given to voluntary housing associations under Part V; and if his attention has been drawn to the high levels of social housing applicants who refuse these units due to the high levels of management fees and parking fees imposed by these voluntary housing bodies. [10092/09]
Deputy Michael Finneran Deputy Michael Finneran
Deputy Michael Finneran: Local authorities assist approved housing bodies in the provision of social rented accommodation in various ways including the provision of sites for new projects, sites acquired in accordance with Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000, the transfer of completed housing units constructed as part of new local authority social housing schemes and the transfer of housing units acquired in accordance with Part V. In addition, local authorities may enter into service level agreements with approved housing bodies with regard to the management and maintenance of social housing units acquired by these authorities under Part V.
Part V units are more generally suited to family type accommodation and those which are being assigned to approved housing bodies are, for the most part, funded under the Capital Loan and Subsidy Scheme. Under the terms of the scheme, management and maintenance costs are met from the rental income generated by the project as well as an annual management and maintenance subsidy allowance from my Department of up to €724 which is paid to approved housing bodies in respect of each dwelling funded under the scheme.
The Working Group on Voluntary and Co-operative Housing, which is comprised of representatives of the voluntary housing sector, the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH), the National Association of Building Co-operatives, the local authorities and my own Department, provides a stakeholder forum for the voluntary and co-operative housing sector. To date, the issue of high numbers of tenants refusing offers of accommodation in Part V properties due to high the levels of management fees and parking fees has not been identified as an area of  concern. In the case of apartments provided under Part V and where car parking is provided, the capital cost of the units generally covers both the accommodation and car parking space. In these instances, car parking fees should not arise.
Local authorities and approved housing bodies do everything possible to minimise the impact of management charges on the rents charged to tenants of voluntary units acquired under Part V. Dublin City Council, for example, recently set up a Working Group under its Housing Strategic Policy Committee, which includes representatives of the ICSH, to look at issues in relation to the impact of management charges on social housing tenants.
Details of the accommodation provided under my Department’s funding schemes for voluntary and co-operative housing, including details of the housing units acquired under Part V, are published in my Department’s Annual Housing Statistics, copies of which are available in the Oireachtas Library. Copies of the Annual Bulletins for the years 2000 to 2007 and the relevant Quarterly Bulletins for 2008 are also available on my Department’s website at www.environ.ie.
Question No. 80 answered with Question No. 58.
Dáil Éireann 677 Written Answers. Social and Affordable Housing.