233. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress being made to establish a redress scheme for properties in counties Donegal and Mayo in which defective block work has been identified; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18419/18 asked on 26 Apr 2018 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): The Expert Panel on concrete blocks was established by my Department in 2016, to investigate problems that have emerged in the concrete blockwork of certain dwellings in Counties Donegal and Mayo.
The panel had the following terms of reference:
(i) To identify, insofar as it is possible, the numbers of private dwellings which appear to be affected by defects in the blockwork in the Counties of ...

1524. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if legislative proposals are being considered to examine the legal principle of caveat emptor in respect of property transactions with the view to giving added protection to buyers and to guard against potential losses being suffered by home owners owing to structural defects which may have been undetected at the time of purchase; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15300/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Residential Property Sales)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): The examination of the principle of caveat emptor in respect of property transactions is a complex legal matter with potential implications for the entire legal system, as well as for the insurance industry. 
In this context, in February 2018, my Department wrote to the Law Reform Commission and also corresponded with those involved with the review of the administration of Civil Justice in Irel...

1526. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of pieces of legislation both enacted and published by his Department which originated in work carried out by the Law Reform Commission in each of the past ten years in tabular form; the details of each piece of legislation in the corresponding year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15351/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Legislative Programme)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): While my Department does not routinely collect data of this nature, in the past ten years, there were two sections of the Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 which implemented Law Reform Commission recommendations and are detailed in the table below:
 Year Title of Act Section of Act Law Reform Commission Recommendation 2010 Planning and Development (Amendment) Act 2010 Section 59 (amended Sect...

1004. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the cost to his Department of negative interest rates on deposits held; the details of same for agencies under his aegis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11740/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Departmental Banking)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Local Government Fund, which is managed and controlled by my Department, includes an investment account which does not currently attract negative interest rates.
The information sought insofar as the agencies under the aegis of my Department are concerned is an operational matter for the agencies themselves. Arrangements have been put in place by each agency to facilitate the provision of information by State Bodies...

1005. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of successfully completed mortgage to rents completed in each of the past five years, by local authority MTRs and approved housing body MTRs respectively, by county; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 11751/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Mortgage to Rent Scheme Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): There are currently two Mortgage to Rent (MTR) schemes funded by my Department. A scheme exists whereby a local authority (LA) can acquire ownership of properties with unsustainable local authority mortgages, thus enabling the household to remain in their home as a social housing tenant (LA-Mortgage-to-Rent). The other scheme provides for an Approved Housing Body (AHB) to acquire ownership of a property with an unsustain...

722. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a request has been received for a meeting with his Department from a group (details supplied) to discuss matters relating to the local shoreline; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9459/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Ministerial Meetings)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): I received a request in recent days from this group, through my colleague Minister of State Sean Kyne, TD, to meet with me. The group will be contacted with a response once due consideration has been given to the request.
 ...

730. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his Department’s capital allocation in each of the years 2018 to 2022; and the areas to which funds will be allocated in each of those years. (Question 9522/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The capital allocation for my department as announced in the National Development Plan 2018-2027 for the period 2018-2022 amounts to €10.232 billion. This allocation will be used to fund the programmes announced in the National Development Plan 2018-2027 in areas such as Housing, Urban Regeneration and Irish Water. The annual breakdown of funding is as follows:
 Capital Allocations 2018-2022 (€m) 2018 20...

754. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his department received a formal request from Donegal county council to investigate the contents of potentially toxic materials dumped off the coast between 2015 and 2017 and to date in 2018; if there has been formal communication between the local authority and his department in relation to the 2010 OSPAR Commission report into past dumping at sea of chemical weapons and munitions in the OSPAR maritime area which gave details of chemical munition dump sites off the County Donegal coast; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 10054/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Dumping at Sea)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department has not received any request from Donegal county council to investigate the contents of potentially toxic materials dumped off the coast between 2015 and 2017 and to date in 2018, nor has Donegal County Council contacted the Department concerning the chemical and munitions dumpsites off the County Donegal coast. 
The Department is aware of historical chemical and munitions dumpsites off the County Donegal c...

667. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the mandatory retirement age for members of the fire service; if this retirement age may be extended for certain persons; if this dispensation is made at the discretion of the local authority concerned; if such an exemption exists, the maximum age at which fire personnel may remain in their role; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 6866/18 asked on 13 Feb 2018 - Fire Service Staff)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): International research indicates that the retirement age of 55 is the optimum age to ensure that fire-fighters are capable of satisfactorily performing the tasks expected of them.  The retirement age of 55 years of age was introduced because of health and safety considerations related to the job. Since the enactment of the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 1989, underpinned by subsequent legislation, each fire autho...

615. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his department will remove from its website all references to having to have paid water charges to avail of certain schemes following repeal of section 3A of the Water Services Act 2014; and if he will request all local authorities to do the same. (Question 5581/18 asked on 06 Feb 2018 - Water Charges)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Water Services Act 2017 (No. 29 of 2017), which was enacted on 17 November 2017, reflects the recommendations of the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Future Funding of Domestic Water Services, which was published in April 2017 and approved by both Houses of the Oireachtas. 
The Act provides for the discontinuance of domestic water charges for dwellings as set out in the Water Services Act 2014 and for ...

643. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the public private partnerships his department is currently engaged in; the name, cost and timeframe of each; the names of all private parties involved; the nature of each project in terms of design, build, maintain and so on, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 4438/18 asked on 30 Jan 2018 - Public Private Partnerships Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Social Housing PPP Programme involves an investment with a capital value of €300 million.  It is to deliver 1,500 social housing units in total, via three bundles.
The first bundle, which comprises six PPP sites, will provide over 500 units in the Greater Dublin Area. Two of the sites are located in the Dublin City Council area with one each in the County Council areas of South Dublin, Kildare, Wicklow and Louth. A c...

1691. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to amend the SIPO law on foreign donations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 55013/17 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Standards in Public Office Commission)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy John Paul Phelan): The Electoral Act 1997 (as amended) provides the statutory framework for dealing with political donations and sets out the regulatory regime covering a wide range of issues such as the funding of political parties; the reimbursement of election expenses; the establishment of election expenditure limits; the disclosure of election expenditure; the setting of limits on permissible donations; th...

1769. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress which has been made to establish a suitable redress scheme for homeowners affected by the issue of defective block work in counties Donegal and Mayo; when such a scheme will be accessible; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 1367/18 asked on 16 Jan 2018 - Defective Building Materials)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1766 and 1769 together.
The Expert Panel on concrete blocks was established by my Department in 2016, to investigate problems that have emerged in the concrete blockwork of certain dwellings in Counties Donegal and Mayo.
The panel had the following terms of reference:
1. To identify, insofar as it is possible, the numbers of private dwellings which appear to be ...

1334. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the names of the special advisers employed in his Department; the names of special advisers to junior Ministers in his Department; the annual salary of each adviser; if these persons were special advisers immediately prior to taking up their current role or immediately prior to the June 2017 Cabinet reshuffle; if so, the Minister to which they were appointed to; the date each special adviser was appointed with effect as stated in the Government order; the date of the Government order; if they received a salary for the period before the appointment order was signed in the case of special advisers whose appointment order date has an effect date earlier than the order date; if so, by whom they were paid; if a special adviser during a period later backdated by appointment order had access to confidential material and or Cabinet papers; if they were subject to the Official Secrets Act 1963 during this period; if any persons currently employed as special advisers have not yet been appointed by order since the Cabinet reshuffle of 2017; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46471/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Ministerial Advisers)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Two Special Advisers, Mr. Jack O’Donnell and Ms. Jennifer Carroll MacNeill, are employed in my Department.  Both are paid by my Department on the Principal Officer (Standard) PPC pay scale (€81,767 - €100,333).  There are no Special Advisers employed in respect of the Ministers of State in my Department.
Immediately prior to the formation of the current Government in June 2017, Mr. O’Donnell was employed as Deputy Govern...

1352. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to amend the Fire Services Acts in order to include a provision providing recognition to fire services on offshore islands and which denotes the importance of ensuring parity with fire services on the mainland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 46834/17 asked on 07 Nov 2017 - Fire Service)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1346 and 1352 together.
The provision of a fire service in its area, including the establishment and maintenance of a fire brigade, the assessment of fire cover needs, the provision of a premises and the making of such other provisions as it considers necessary or desirable, is a statutory function of individual fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Acts 1981 and 2003...

538. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the cost liability of public sector pay restoration, as provided for under the gradual unwinding of the FEMPI measures, with respect to local authority staff, for 2017 and 2018 for each local authority, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 40552/17 asked on 26 Sep 2017 - Public Sector Pay)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): A provision of €20.3 million to assist local authorities in meeting the costs associated with the unwinding of the FEMPI legislation was made for 2017. The final outturn for 2017 is not yet known, either at a sectoral level or in respect of individual local authorities. My Department is in discussions with the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform in respect of the costs for 2018 in the context of the ongoing annu...

802. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the funding which will be given to local authorities in 2018 in lieu of the loss of commercial rates from Irish Water properties; and the funding given in 2016. (Question 39840/17 asked on 20 Sep 2017 - Commercial Rates Exemptions)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Section 12 of the Water Services Act 2014 states that public water services property is not rateable for the purposes of the Valuation Act 2001.  This exemption applies to Irish Water for the provision of water supply and waste water treatment.  Government provides equivalent funding directly to local authorities, through the Local Government Fund, in respect of rates income foregone.
Local authorities have been compensa...

1958. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the progress which has been made to establish an appropriate redress scheme for home owners in counties Donegal and Mayo in circumstances in which defective block work has been found to have compromised the structural integrity of their homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37239/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): The Expert Panel on concrete blocks was established by my Department in 2016, to investigate problems that have emerged in the concrete blockwork of certain dwellings in Counties Donegal and Mayo.
The panel had the following terms of reference:
(i) To identify, insofar as it is possible, the numbers of private dwellings which appear to be affected by defects in the blockwork in the Counties of ...

1962. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the total cost his Department incurred in each of the past five years due to debit and credit card payment services and banking fees; the financial institutions to which the payments were made; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 37244/17 asked on 11 Sep 2017 - Departmental Expenditure)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The information requested is set out in the following table.
 - 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total Credit Cards Government Stamp Duty €120.00 €326.98 €180.00 €180.00 €120.00 €926.98 Allied Irish Bank - Annual Fees €338.10 €412.07 €214.32 €246.25 €40.32 €1,251.06 


 - 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total Credit Cards Government Stamp Duty ...

1644. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the estimated cost of increasing central funding to the housing adaptation grant schemes by 50% in 2018. (Question 35714/17 asked on 26 Jul 2017 - Housing Adaptation Grant Expenditure)

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The funding allocation in 2017 for the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability is €59.8m, comprising €47.84m Exchequer funding and €11.96m from local authority resources. It represents an increase of some 6% on the previous year’s allocation.  Increasing funding under this scheme by 50% would cost an additional €23.92m to the Exchequer, with a further €5.98m to be contributed by...

607. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the number of houses purchased by approved housing bodies in 2015. (Question 29665/17 asked on 27 Jun 2017 - Approved Housing Bodies)

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) acquire houses with assistance from my Department and also using their own private finance arrangements. I can only provide information in relation to such acquisitions, as were assisted by my Department. There are two such schemes: the Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS) provides funding in respect of the costs of purchasing accommodation to meet special housing needs and 112 unit...

2149. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the number of households per county which are in receipt of the housing assistance payment; the number of landlords and agents currently participating in the HAP scheme per county, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26687/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Housing Assistance Payments Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2149 to 2152, inclusive, together.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. There are currently more than 22,000 households in receipt of HAP, including 7,000 households that were previously supported by Rent Supplement. There are currently more than 17,000 separate la...

2150. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the number of landlords and agents per county that have rejected housing assistance payment tenancies since the scheme’s introduction but that previously accepted tenants in receipt of rent supplement; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26688/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Housing Assistance Payments Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2149 to 2152, inclusive, together.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. There are currently more than 22,000 households in receipt of HAP, including 7,000 households that were previously supported by Rent Supplement. There are currently more than 17,000 separate la...

2151. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to incidents whereby landlords have expressed an unwillingness and reluctance to participate in the housing assistance payment scheme due to the requirements and obligations placed on them as part of the programme; the steps he is taking to ensure that persons in receipt of HAP are not being unfairly discriminated against by landlords; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26689/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Housing Assistance Payments Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2149 to 2152, inclusive, together.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. There are currently more than 22,000 households in receipt of HAP, including 7,000 households that were previously supported by Rent Supplement. There are currently more than 17,000 separate la...

2152. Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the costs incurred by his Department to date in the training of staff; the costs incurred in the setting up of office operations as part of the housing assistance payment shared services centre in Limerick; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 26690/17 asked on 20 Jun 2017 - Housing Assistance Payments Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 2149 to 2152, inclusive, together.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. There are currently more than 22,000 households in receipt of HAP, including 7,000 households that were previously supported by Rent Supplement. There are currently more than 17,000 separate la...