361. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government to create a vacant homes register in the short term to help tackle the housing crisis, given that the report form the Housing Agency indicated that there are almost 250,000 vacant properties here, excluding holiday homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12505/16 asked on 31 May 2016 - Housing Provision)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): The figures produced by the Housing Agency, drawing on Census 2011, highlight the extent of vacant properties in the country at that time. The Agency has also highlighted the importance of utilising existing housing stock to meet the housing shortage where possible. In this regard, vacant units in areas that are already serviced may provide opportunities. In order to fully ascertain the potential from vacant ...

245. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when the Cabinet will make a decision on the Irish Glass Bottle site in Ringsend in Dublin 2; if the project will proceed under a strategic development zone; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11658/16 asked on 24 May 2016 - Land Reclassification)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): Last week I brought a proposal to Government on this very matter on foot of a request by Dublin City Council for the designation of the western part of the Poolbeg peninsula as a Strategic Development Zone. As a result of my request, the Government made an Order designating the Poolbeg West area as Strategic Development Zone and Dublin City Council as the relevant development agency pursuant to the provisions o...

387. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he can enact the seventh amendment to the Constitution and extend the voting franchise for the university panels of Seanad Éireann to all university graduates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9625/16 asked on 17 May 2016 - Seanad Elections)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney): A Programme for a Partnership Government includes a goal for this Government to pursue the implementation of the Manning report, formally known as the Report of the Working Group on Seanad Reform. That report makes recommendations to restructure and reform the Seanad, including extending the university franchise at Seanad elections to graduates of other institutions of higher education in the State. 
 ...

1390. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number and names of all operating voluntary housing bodies; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30515/15 asked on 22 Sep 2015 - Housing Provision)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Section 6(6) of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1992 makes provision to grant approved housing body (AHB) status to housing associations. AHBs consist mainly of voluntary or co-operative organisations limited by guarantee and registered under the Companies Acts; societies registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Acts; and/or Trusts incorporated under the Charities Acts. At present, there ar...

1400. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in relation to the implementation oversight group, set up under the aegis of his Department to oversee the overall implementation of the October 2013 Priory Hall resolution framework, if he will provide an update on the work of this oversight group; if the group has been in contact with property owners; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 30629/15 asked on 22 Sep 2015 - Priory Hall Development)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Paudie Coffey): An Implementation Oversight Group, chaired by Dr Martin McAleese, was established with representatives of the Priory Hall residents (both owner occupiers and buy-to-let owners), the Irish Banking Federation, Dublin City Council (DCC), my Department and the Department of the Taoiseach. The Group has met regularly and substantial progress has been made. 
Detailed legal documents have been...

314. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide details of financial savings achieved in each of the 31 local authorities in the first year after the abolition of the town councils and the amalgamation of a number of local authorities; if these details will be broken down for each individual council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 29461/15 asked on 15 Jul 2015 - Local Government Reform)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): The provisions of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 Act relating to the merger of local authorities in Limerick, Tipperary and Waterford, the dissolution of town councils and the establishment of municipal districts came into effect on 1 June 2014. Accordingly, 2015 will be the first full year of the operation of these and other significant changes in the local government system and, in the circumstances, it wo...

851. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide a list of the commercial rates charged in 2015 for wind turbines, by local authority area; if he will provide a list of the charges, by local authority, in order to illustrate any variations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 28476/15 asked on 14 Jul 2015 - Local Authority Rates)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Local authorities are under a statutory obligation to levy rates on any property used for commercial purposes in accordance with the details entered in the valuation lists prepared by the independent Commissioner of Valuation under the Valuation Act 2001. The levying and collection of rates are matters for each individual local authority and all rates income accrues to the local government sector. The information...

841. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the scope in legislation for persons to be exempt from the non Principal Private Residence Charge in the event that they had to vacate their home on health and safety grounds, due to the occurrence of pyrite related damage in that home, and have lived in private rental accommodation while awaiting remediation works on their home; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11471/15 asked on 24 Mar 2015 - Non-Principal Private Residence Charge Exemptions)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): The Local Government (Charges) Act 2009, as amended, broadened the revenue base of local authorities by introducing a charge on non-principal private residences. The Non Principal Private Residence (NPPR) Charge is set at €200 and liability for it falls, in the main, on owners of rental, holiday and vacant or additional properties that are not an individual’s principal private residence. The NPPR Charge, which has ...

566. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government his views on amending the terms of the mortgage-to-rent scheme, in order to raise the threshold of house values from €220,000, to a level which reflects the increase in property prices since the scheme has come into being, as many families are still dealing with serious mortgage distress; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6142/15 asked on 10 Feb 2015 - Mortgage to Rent Scheme Data)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): In order for a property to be considered under the mortgage to rent scheme it must be purchased by an Approved Housing Body for less than €220,000 (per property) in the Greater Dublin Area and €180,000 (per property) in the rest of the country. These limits were determined by a working group which took account of available market data and the current social housing acquisition limits. These limits are considered ...

484. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in respect of the implementation oversight group set up under the aegis of his Department to oversee the overall implementation of the October 2013 Priory Hall resolution framework, the current status of the resolution process; the steps that have been taken to keep property owners informed of the current status of the Priory Hall development; if a point of contact has been appointed by the oversight group to keep residents informed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 45280/14 asked on 25 Nov 2014 - Priory Hall Development)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): An implementation group, chaired by Dr Martin McAleese, is in place to oversee the effective implementation of all aspects of the agreed Framework. The implementation group includes representatives of both former residents and buy-to-let owners, thereby ensuring that all of the Priory Hall homeowners are fully engaged and fairly treated. In relation to the refurbishment works, the position is that in August 2014,...

520. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when his Department will introduce a new tenant purchase scheme for tenants of local authority housing; the provisions he plans to include in the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43171/14 asked on 11 Nov 2014 - Departmental Schemes)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): Part 3 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 provides for a new scheme for the purchase of existing local authority houses, which will be open to local authority tenants in receipt of social housing support for a prescribed period of at least one year who have not previously purchased a house under a tenant purchase scheme and who have a minimum prescribed annual income. The new scheme will operate al...

528. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an up-to-date report on the details of the septic tank grant scheme, including clarification on the number of septic tank improvement grants issued so far; the total fund in place to provide for such grants; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 43216/14 asked on 11 Nov 2014 - Septic Tank Inspections)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Alan Kelly): I propose to take Questions Nos. 499 and 528 together.
The Water Services (Amendment) Act 2012 assigns responsibility to the Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA ) to make a National Inspection Plan for domestic wastewater treatment systems. The National Inspection Plan 2013: Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems was adopted and published by the EPA in February 2013. The Plan provided for a minimum of 1,000 ins...

105. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government in relation to the rent allowance scheme, the restrictions that are placed on local authorities on the size of properties acceptable under the scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 27445/14 asked on 25 Jun 2014 - Rental Accommodation Scheme Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): The operation of the rent allowance scheme is entirely a matter for my colleague, the Minister for Social Protection. The Rental Accommodation Scheme on the other hand is administered entirely by local authorities and is intended to provide an additional source of good quality rented accommodation for eligible persons. Individual authorities enter into contractual arrangements on beh...

552. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to water meters being installed in vacant houses in County Kildare; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 22817/14 asked on 27 May 2014 - Water Meters Installation)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 525, 552, 555 and 570 together.
The Programme for Government sets out a commitment to the introduction of water charges based on usage above a free allowance. The Government considers that charging based on usage is the fairest way to charge for water and it has, therefore, decided that water meters should be installed in households connected to public water supplies. The Water Serv...

643. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an update on the roll out of the housing assistance payment scheme as announced in July 2013; the time frame for when this scheme will be rolled out; if he will provide any other relevant details; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12892/14 asked on 25 Mar 2014 - Housing Assistance Payments Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): On 18 July 2013 the Government approved the introduction of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). Approval was also given for the provision of funding to the local authorities to cover the cost of accommodating HAP recipients, and it was agreed that the Department of Social Protection (DSP) would provide for the implementation of the mandatory direct deduction of rental contributions f...

664. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the date on which local authorities were notified that contracts regarding the delivery of water services infrastructure, which were not signed before 31 December 2013, could not proceed and would become the responsibility of Irish Water; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13149/14 asked on 25 Mar 2014 - Irish Water Establishment)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Legislation was enacted in December 2013 (The Water Services (No.2) Act 2013) which established Irish Water as the national water services authority from 1 January 2014. The Act provides for the transfer of water services functions from the 34 local authorities to Irish Water. 
Section 14 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 provides that the nister may, from time to time, designate the transfer of rights and l...

687. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will detail all the moneys collected from private residential housing developers in lieu of those developers not providing Part V social and affordable housing; the way that money was collected; the amount of money that was collected; if he will provide the answer by breakdown of every local authority for the period 2002 to 2007 inclusive; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13448/14 asked on 25 Mar 2014 - Social and Affordable Housing Provision)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): My Department publishes a wide range of housing statistics, including data, broken down by local authority and on an annual basis, on the number of land transfers, and payment amounts in lieu of land transfers, under Part V of the Planning and Development Acts. The statistics concerned are available on my Department’s website at http://www.environ.ie/en/Publications/StatisticsandRegularPublications/HousingStatist...

353. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the date on which councils were notified that contracts regarding the delivery of water services infrastructure not signed before 31 December 2013 could not proceed and would become the responsibility of Irish Water; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11823/14 asked on 11 Mar 2014 - Water Services Provision)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): Legislation was enacted in December 2013 (The Water Services (No.2) Act 2013) which established Irish Water as the national water services authority from 1 January 2014. The Act provides for the transfer of water services functions from the 34 local authorities to Irish Water. Section 14 of the Water Services (No. 2) Act 2013 provides that the Minister may, from time to time, designate the transfer of rights and ...

442. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when the next tenant purchase scheme will be launched. (Question 4961/14 asked on 04 Feb 2014 - Tenant Purchase Scheme Administration)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan) (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 101, 441, 442, 449 and 471 together.
The Government, on 17 December 2013, approved priority drafting of a Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill that will, among other things, underpin a new tenant purchase scheme for existing local authority houses along incremental purchase lines.  I expect that the Bill will be enacted this y...

471. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the position regarding the Cloghran drainage scheme, north County Dublin; when this scheme will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2796/14 asked on 21 Jan 2014 - Water and Sewerage Schemes Status)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 471 and 473 together.
The Cloghran Drainage Scheme was not included in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013 , so details of how Fingal County Council was progressing the scheme are not available in my Department. 
Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of water services capital infrastructure. It is currently preparing a Capita...

472. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the position regarding the Seamount reservoir project, Malahide, north County Dublin; when this scheme will be completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2797/14 asked on 21 Jan 2014 - Water and Sewerage Schemes Status)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 472 and 474 together. 
The Malahide Water Supply (Reservoir) Scheme was approved to proceed under the Serviced Land Initiative Sub-Programme of my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013. However, I understand that Fingal County Council had not progressed the scheme, in accordance with the conditions of its approval, prior to 31 December 2013. 
Irish Water is...

473. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an assurance that the setting up of Irish Water will not jeopardise or delay the Cloghran drainage scheme, north County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2798/14 asked on 21 Jan 2014 - Water and Sewerage Schemes Status)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 471 and 473 together.
The Cloghran Drainage Scheme was not included in my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013 , so details of how Fingal County Council was progressing the scheme are not available in my Department. 
Since 1 January 2014, Irish Water is responsible for the delivery of water services capital infrastructure. It is currently preparing a Capita...

474. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will provide an assurance that the setting up of Irish Water will not jeopardise or delay the Seamount reservoir project, Malahide, north County Dublin; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 2799/14 asked on 21 Jan 2014 - Water and Sewerage Schemes Status)

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Phil Hogan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 472 and 474 together. 
The Malahide Water Supply (Reservoir) Scheme was approved to proceed under the Serviced Land Initiative Sub-Programme of my Department’s Water Services Investment Programme 2010 – 2013. However, I understand that Fingal County Council had not progressed the scheme, in accordance with the conditions of its approval, prior to 31 December 2013. 
Irish Water is...

116. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the number of applicants on the waiting list for local authority housing at the time of the latest figures available; and the number on the lists in each housing authority area. (Question 52169/13 asked on 04 Dec 2013 - Local Authority Housing Waiting Lists)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): In accordance with Section 21 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009, I directed all housing authorities to carry out a summary of the social housing assessments carried out in their administrative areas as at 7 May, 2013. Results from this assessment will be available later this month. The previous summary of social housing assessments was carried out as at 31 March, 2011...

117. Deputy Brendan Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the financial provision that has been made by his Department to provide social housing in the 2014 budget; and if he will provide a breakdown of that figure for the various types of provision. (Question 52170/13 asked on 04 Dec 2013 - Social and Affordable Housing Expenditure)

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 117 and 118 together.
My Department’s 2014 Estimate includes a provision in excess of €223 million for capital expenditure and €302 million for current expenditure for housing in 2014. The 2014 capital provision includes €40 million for local authority housing, €40.9 million for voluntary and co-operative housing, €3 million for Social Inclusion, €109.4...