45. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to greatly expand the mortgage to rent scheme to obviate the sale of family homes by banks to vulture funds; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 13632/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Mortgage to Rent Scheme)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My focus, and that of the Government, is to ensure that as many households as possible remain in their homes and in this regard, a range of measures are currently being implemented across Government Departments and agencies. These actions are focused on encouraging those in mortgage distress who have not been able to engage, to reach a long term debt resolution and avoid repossession if possible.
 The Mortgage to Rent (...

88. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of families with children being accommodated in hotels each month since July 2017 to date in 2018; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 19606/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Homeless Persons Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Monthly homelessness data reports are produced by housing authorities using the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS), the single integrated national data information system on State-funded emergency accommodation arrangements overseen by housing authorities. My Department collates this information into monthly national homeless reports, which are available on my Department’s website at the following link:
http:...

492. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the additional revenue that would be required in 2019 if the budget for the housing adaptation grants for older persons and persons with a disability increased by 25% or by 50%; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20154/18 asked on 08 May 2018 - Housing Adaptation Grant Expenditure)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I am conscious of the social benefit accruing from the Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, particularly in terms of facilitating the continued independent living by older people and people with a disability in their own homes.  This is recognised in the Programme for Government and as a consequence, funding for these schemes has been increasing year on year since 2014.  
In 2018, a to...

235. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason Ireland was excluded from the transboundary impact assessment relating to the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in view of the fact that Ireland is the nearest state to this power plant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18286/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Nuclear Plants)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The United Kingdom has informed relevant Government Departments - i.e. my Department and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment - of developments in relation to plans to build new nuclear power plants at sites judged as potentially suitable, including Hinkley Point C.  However, prior to planning permission being sought for the proposed Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Plant, the United Kingdom ...

236. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 239 of 18 April 2018, the residential units which are specifically wheelchair liveable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 18135/18 asked on 25 Apr 2018 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): My Department does not have details of residential units that are specifically wheelchair liveable.  My reply to Question No. 239 of 18 April 2018 sets out the requirements of Part M of the Building Regulations and indicates that these may be regarded as the statutory minimum level of provision. While Part M provides, inter alia, that new dwellings are visitable, the accompanying technical guid...

340. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if funding will be provided for Dublin Fire Brigade to purchase new ladders that can reach up to 42 metres in height; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 17143/18 asked on 19 Apr 2018 - Fire Service)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): The provision of fire services in local authority areas, including the establishment and maintenance of fire brigades, the assessment of fire cover needs and the provision of premises, is a statutory function of the individual fire authorities under the provisions of the Fire Services Acts, 1981 and 2003. 
My Department supports the fire authorities through setting national policy, providing a ...

239. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to ensure that at least 10% of all new builds will be wheelchair liveable; the steps he is taking to ensure that accessible and liveable accommodation is being constructed and made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16944/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English) (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 239 and 240 together.
My Department is in regular contact with disability advocates and my colleague Minister Murphy has met with them on the specific issue referenced by the Deputy.  
One of the key measures achieved in 2016 under the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (NHSPWD), which has been extended to 2020, was th...

240. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he has met with disability advocates regarding increasing numbers of accommodation units that are wheelchair liveable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16945/18 asked on 18 Apr 2018 - Building Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English) (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 239 and 240 together.
My Department is in regular contact with disability advocates and my colleague Minister Murphy has met with them on the specific issue referenced by the Deputy.  
One of the key measures achieved in 2016 under the National Housing Strategy for People with a Disability (NHSPWD), which has been extended to 2020, was th...

1492. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position with regard to the so-called Dublin array of offshore wind turbines; the status of the proposal; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15757/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan Implementation)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Saorgus Energy Limited lodged an application for a foreshore lease to develop a windfarm on the Kish and Bray Banks in 2009 which are located approximately 10km from the Dublin and Wicklow coasts. The company also published an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in respect of the proposal, which is known as the Dublin Array.  The applicant held its own public consultation process around that t...

1557. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the additional resources and personnel he plans to allocate to An Bord Pleanála; the cost and timing of these additional supports; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15741/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - An Bord Pleanála)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department engages with An Bord Pleanála (the Board) on an ongoing basis to ensure that it has the appropriate resources to perform its broad range of functions.
Section 116 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 provides for the payment to the Board in each financial year of a grant of such amount as the Minister may fix, with the consent of the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform. The grant goes towards fin...

1570. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the measures he is taking to address the growing problem of access to the rental market for older persons in view of the fact that monthly rents have risen above the average contributory State pension rates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15910/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Rental Sector)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Strategy for the Rental Sector, published in December 2016, recommended the introduction of a Rent Predictability Measure to moderate rent increases in those parts of the country where rents are highest and rising and where households have greatest difficulties in finding accommodation they can afford.  The Planning and Development (Housing) and Residential Tenancies Act 2016 provided for the Rent Predictability Meas...

1571. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans and proposed outputs for public housing for older persons with supports; when such housing will be delivered; the locations in which they will be delivered; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15911/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1571 and 1575 together.
My Department is committed to supporting older people to live in their own home with dignity and independence for as long as possible, as this has the best outcomes both for the individual and for society as a whole.
 The Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan aims to ensure that older people have a range of housing choices availab...

1572. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the grant funding for housing adaptations will be returned to 2010 levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15912/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Housing Adaptation Grant Funding)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I am conscious of the social benefit accruing from the suite of Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, particularly in terms of facilitating the continued independent living by older people and people with a disability in their own homes.  This is also recognised in the Programme for a Partnership Government and as a consequence, funding for these schemes has been increased year on year ...

1573. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applicants for grant funding for housing adaptations in 2016, 2017 and to date in 2018; the number of these applications approved and rejected, respectively, in each of these years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15913/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Housing Adaptation Grant Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department allocates funding to local authorities, firstly, towards the cost of adaptations and extensions to social housing to meet the needs of tenants with a disability and, secondly, towards the Housing Adaptation Grant Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability, in respect of private houses. The detailed administration of the grants, including the assessment and approval of grants, is the responsibilit...

1574. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when legislation will be brought forward for the implementation of longer term leases; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15914/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Rental Sector Strategy)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2016 set out the rights and obligations of landlords and tenants in the private rented sector. The Acts apply to tenancies of up to 35 years in duration. I consider a 35-year lease to be a long-term lease and I have no plans to alter the current application of the Act in this regard.
The Residential Tenancies Board (RTB) was established as an independent statutory body under the Acts t...

1575. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of senior social housing units available per county in each of the years 2016, 2017 and to date in 2018; his plans to increase availability of such units according to demographic needs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 15915/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing Data)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1571 and 1575 together.
My Department is committed to supporting older people to live in their own home with dignity and independence for as long as possible, as this has the best outcomes both for the individual and for society as a whole.
 The Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan aims to ensure that older people have a range of housing choices availab...

1581. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans and timeframe to establish an elected mayor with executive powers for the Dublin region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 16037/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Mayoral Election)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy John Paul Phelan): The Programme for Partnership Government includes a commitment to consider directly elected mayors in cities as part of a broader range of local government reform measures aimed at strengthening local democracy. In response to this commitment, work on a policy report on local government leadership, including directly elected mayors for cities, is advancing in my Department. 
This report will ...

1582. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to overhaul local government management structures in the four Dublin local authority areas in order to expedite the construction of social and affordable housing. (Question 16038/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Local Government Reform)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Under section 159 of the Local Government Act 2001, each Chief Executive is responsible for staffing and organisation arrangements necessary for carrying out the functions of the local authorities for which he or she is responsible. 
In this regard, the assignment of local authority staff to a particular function is a matter for the Chief Executive. My Department, however, works closely with all local authorities with re...

1583. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to create a Dublin housing executive with executive powers and dynamic leadership to address the levels of homelessness in the capital in view of the exclusion of persons on lower income from affordable housing. (Question 16039/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Homelessness Strategy)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Homeless services are administered at regional level across the country. 
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) is provided by Dublin City Council as the lead statutory local authority in the response to homelessness in Dublin and adopts a shared service approach across South Dublin County Council, Fingal County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.  A statutory Management Group is in place for each re...

1584. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his views on whether the Dublin region needs a housing tsar to lead a regional housing executive with wide executive powers to address the deteriorating housing situation in Dublin. (Question 16040/18 asked on 17 Apr 2018 - Housing Policy)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): In direct response to the housing challenge and in order to support housing authorities deliver on their responsibilities and obligations, a number of dedicated structures have been put in place in the Dublin region and also nationally over the last number of years.  
The Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) is provided by Dublin City Council as the lead statutory local authority in the response to homelessness in Dub...

1052. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the arrangements he plans to make for the direct election of mayors for Dublin and Cork; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12510/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Mayoral Election)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy John Paul Phelan): I propose to take Questions Nos. 1032, 1042 and 1052 together.
The Programme for Partnership Government includes a commitment to consider directly elected mayors in cities as part of a broader range of local government reform measures aimed at strengthening local democracy. In response to this commitment, work on a report on directly elected mayors for cities is at an advanced stage in my De...

1053. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will direct local authorities in Dublin to report monthly and quarterly on the pipeline of social housing they are delivering and have delivered in each administrative area including location and opening dates in order that persons and representatives are given a clear picture of actions to address waiting lists; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 12511/18 asked on 20 Mar 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): At the second Housing Summit, held on January 22nd, I asked each Local Authority Chief Executive to furnish a report to my Department, confirming and setting out how their Local Authority will deliver on its social housing targets over the coming years. This process will have a particular focus on 2018 delivery profiles.
Templates were provided to Local Authorities for completion and these have now been returned to my D...

59. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will report on alleged serious breaches of Part B (Fire Safety) of the Building Regulations (Amendment) Regulations 2006, in relation to homes in an estate (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9580/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Fire Safety Regulations)

Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Damien English): Under the Building Control Acts 1990 to 2014, primary responsibility for compliance of works with the requirements of the Building Regulations, including Part B (Fire Safety), rests with the owners, designers and builders of buildings. Enforcement of the Building Regulations is a matter for the 31 local building control authorities, who have extensive powers of inspection and enforcement under ...

85. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he has received the report of the National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management’s high level taskforce leading reappraisal of fire safety here; the recommendations of the taskforce; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9581/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - Fire Safety)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): In the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower tragedy of 14 June 2017, and in recognition of fears expressed for fire safety, I tasked my Department’s National Directorate for Fire and Emergency Management with convening and coordinating a high-level Task Force to lead a re-appraisal of fire safety in Ireland.
Local authorities were directed also to undertake a review of fire safety in multi-storey social housing buildings and ...

734. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the way in which the national planning framework will plan the future development of the north and south fringe in an area (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 9584/18 asked on 27 Feb 2018 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 54, 71, 712, 715 and 734 together.
The National Planning Framework (NPF), published together with the National Development Plan (NDP) as part of Project Ireland 2040 on 16 February 2018, sets out an ambitious high-level national vision for Ireland for 2040 and provides the framework and principles to manage future population and economic growth over the next 20 years, catering for around ...