297. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position regarding a folio issue (details supplied) within his Department; the timeframe for a resolution; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20606/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Property Registration)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I can inform the Deputy that under the Registration of Deeds and Title Act 2006, the Property Registration Authority (PRA) was established as and from 4 November 2006.  The PRA replaces the Register of Deeds and Titles as the registering authority in relation to property registration in Ireland and, subject to the above Act, is independent in the performance of its functions.
Arrangements have been put in place by all bo...

298. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount of money paid in financial penalties to the EU as a result of non-compliance with sewage running into water courses across the State and in relation to the Avoca River, Arklow, County Wicklow. (Question 20671/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Water and Sewerage Schemes)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive mandates member states to collect and treat urban waste water in towns and cities to protect public health and avoid pollution of rivers, lakes and coastal waters. Member states had until the end of December 2000 to ensure appropriate treatment for large agglomerations (with a population equivalent of more than 15,000), and until the end of December 2005 for agglomerations with a...

299. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the funding provided toward homelessness in 2017; the amount allocated to County Laois and the midlands; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20526/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Homelessness Strategy)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department provides funding, under Section 10 of the Housing Act 1988, to housing authorities towards the costs of providing accommodation and related services for homeless persons. Section 10 funding of €109.2m million was provided to housing authorities towards the costs of homeless services in 2017. This funding is made available on a regional basis. 
Westmeath County Council is the lead authority for the Midlands ...

300. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will undertake an audit in addition to tracking and collation of specific data in relation to the existence and nature of the policies adopted in local area plans, LAPs, by individual local authorities in line with the guidelines in respect of a specific part of a section (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20577/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 300 and 301 together.
The recently published National Planning Framework recognises the strong link between our health and environment and includes a National Policy Objective to support the objectives of public health policy, including Healthy Ireland and the National Physical Activity Plan, through integrating such policies, where appropriate and at the applicable scale, with planning p...

301. Deputy Louise O’Reilly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the work being carried out within his Department in respect of the national obesity plan specifically regarding developing guidelines and support materials for those working in developing the built environment of urban development and planning in relation to reducing the obesogenic environment; the status of this matter; when the proposed event on same will take place; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20578/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - National Planning Framework)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 300 and 301 together.
The recently published National Planning Framework recognises the strong link between our health and environment and includes a National Policy Objective to support the objectives of public health policy, including Healthy Ireland and the National Physical Activity Plan, through integrating such policies, where appropriate and at the applicable scale, with planning p...

302. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a decision has been made on a turnkey housing application by a person (details supplied); if a stage payment arrangement can be put in place to deliver the project; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20592/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Social and Affordable Housing Funding)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The local authority in this case recently sought funding approval from my Department for this social housing turnkey project, following successful negotiations with the developer, and that funding approval has been given.  As is standard with turnkey projects, the majority of the payment, apart from an initial deposit, is on completion of the housing units in a ‘turnkey’ condition.  I understand that the local authority ...

303. Deputy Mattie McGrath asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the preparation and finalisation of a national protocol with regard to taking estates served by developer-provided infrastructure, DPI, in charge will be finalised in order that local authorities can proceed to take these estates in charge (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20601/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Housing Estates)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The taking-in-charge of housing developments is a matter for the relevant local authority under section 180 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended). My Department launched the National Taking-in-Charge Initiative (NTICI) in April 2016 to trial new approaches and working methods in supporting and accelerating overall national and local action on the taking-in-charge process of housing estates, including esta...

304. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of employees within his Department in receipt of a salary below the living wage of €11.70 per hour. (Question 20618/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Departmental Staff Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Payment of salaries to staff of my Department is made in line with pay scales approved by the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. Currently, there are two members of staff in my Department earning a salary below the amount of €11.70 per hour.  This figure will reduce as and when the staff concerned progress along an incremental scale.
 ...

305. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the disaggregation of salary scales or levels among agency workers within or through his Department. (Question 20624/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Departmental Agencies Staff Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 305 and 306 together.
My Department does not employ agency staff. Accordingly, the issues raised do not arise.
 ...

306. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of workers employed through his Department under the status of agency worker. (Question 20630/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Departmental Agencies Staff Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 305 and 306 together.
My Department does not employ agency staff. Accordingly, the issues raised do not arise.
 ...

307. Deputy Tom Neville asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if there is funding or exemptions available to convert a shop into an apartment or housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20649/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Planning Issues)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Action 5.9 of the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness and Action 6 of the Action Plan for Rural Development committed to reviewing planning legislation to allow the change of use of vacant commercial units in urban areas, including vacant or under-utilised areas over ground-floor premises, into residential units without having to go through the planning process. To give effect to this...

308. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will publish the new tenant purchase scheme without further delay. (Question 20676/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Tenant Purchase Scheme)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme came into operation on 1 January 2016.  The Scheme is open to eligible tenants, including joint tenants, of local authority houses that are available for sale under the Scheme. To be eligible, tenants must meet certain criteria, including having a minimum reckonable income of €15,000 per annum and having been in receipt of social housing support for at least one year.
In line with...

309. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of staff engaged in the housing delivery office per annum since its establishment; the average length of service in the office; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20689/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Departmental Staff Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): In line with the commitment under Action 2.9 of Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, a dedicated Housing Delivery Office (HDO) was established within my Department, in August 2016, to support the accelerated delivery of housing across the social and private sectors, and tenure spectrum, in an integrated and timely manner. Working with the broader Housing and Planning Divisions in my Department, o...

310. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the position regarding his plans for a national deposit scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20692/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Rental Sector)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Act 2015 provides for, among other things, the establishment of a tenancy deposit protection scheme to be operated by the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB). 
There have been significant changes in the rental market since the 2015 scheme was first envisaged and designed. For example, the draft scheme was originally intended to be financed by the interest payable on deposits lodged; th...

311. Deputy Darragh O’Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the criteria used to calculate homelessness figures; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20693/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Homeless Persons Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department currently publishes data on a monthly basis on the number of homeless persons accommodated in emergency accommodation funded and overseen by housing authorities.  These reports are based on data provided by housing authorities, produced through the Pathway Accommodation & Support System (PASS).  The reports are collated on a regional basis, are published on my Department’s website and can be accessed using ...

312. Deputy John Brassil asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the rent caps for the housing assistance payment, HAP, scheme will be reviewed and revised up to reflect the increase in average rental prices across the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20697/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Housing Assistance Payment Administration)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The HAP rent limits were increased significantly in July 2016, including by up to 60% in some areas. The Government also provided flexibility to each local authority to agree to a HAP payment up to 20% above the maximum rent limit, where it is necessary, because of local rental market conditions. 
Additional discretion of up to 50% above rent limits is available to assist in housing homeless households in the Dublin Regi...

313. Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of persons that have applied to Westmeath County Council for the Rebuilding Ireland home loan; the number approved; the eligibility criteria; if they are uniformly applied across the country; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20788/18 asked on 10 May 2018 - Home Loan Scheme)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I refer to the reply to Question No. 89 of 8 May 2018.
The final decision on loan approval is a matter for each local authority and its Credit Committee on a case-by-case basis.  Decisions on all housing loan applications must be made in accordance with the statutory credit policy that underpins the scheme, in order to ensure consistency of treatment for all applicants.  Loan applicants who are dissatisfied with a loan a...

274. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the unrealistic repayment plans being forced upon HAP recipients who find themselves in arrears on their HAP rent contribution account and face having their HAP payments suspended if they cannot comply in view of the fact that HAP recipients are on this payment due to their low income; if an amendment will be made to guidelines pertaining to repayment plans in order that HAP recipients can enter a repayment plan that is within their individual financial resources; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20338/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Housing Assistance Payment)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. There are currently just over 36,000 households having their housing needs met via HAP and some 20,000 separate landlords and agents currently in receipt of HAP payments. A weekly average of 357 HAP tenancies are been set-up during 2018. 
HAP is a form of social ho...

275. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of judicial reviews undertaken in the context of Part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations 2001 in the past five years to date; the outcomes of same; if he will supply this information by development under the provisions and local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20210/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Planning Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The annual planning statistics compiled by each planning authority for collation and publication by my Department do not include information related to judicial reviews of decisions made by planning or local authorities in the performance of their functions under the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, or the Planning and Development Regulations made thereunder.
Accordingly, this information sought is not avai...

276. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the requests received by his Department from a county council (details supplied) for funding due to extreme weather events; the funding sought and the works proposed; when the application was submitted; the decision made on the request; the funding allocation made in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20222/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Local Authority Funding)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): Since 2009, my Department has made financial support available to assist local authorities in meeting the costs of clean-up and necessary immediate works associated with the response to significant severe weather emergency events. This is in recognition of the exceptional nature of the activities carried out by local authorities in responding to these types of emergencies and the fact that the costs of these un-programme...

277. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the process that follows in circumstances in which a proposed Part 8 development is rejected by councillors at local authority level; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20225/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Planning Guidelines)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 277 and 280 together.
Neither section 179 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, nor Part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations made thereunder, relating to proposed development by a local authority that does not require environmental impact assessment or appropriate assessment, provide for a second round of public consultation in relation to a proposed development ...

278. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of the 600 persons which he claimed on 30 April 2018 in a Departmental press release had been miscategorised as homeless by local authorities that had tenancy agreements at the time of the alleged miscategorisation; and the number that were in short-term ad hoc accommodation arrangements provided by local authorities and or the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive. (Question 20227/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Homeless Persons Data)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I refer to the reply to Questions Nos. 24 and 25 of 8 May 2018.  While tenancy arrangements are a matter for individual housing authorities, as indicated in the reply referred to, the issues arising in relation to the misclassification of certain households as homeless have not yet been fully addressed, so I am not in a position to provide a complete account in relation to such practices.  My Department is engaging with ...

279. Deputy Peter Burke asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to amend measures whereby grant assistance to fix domestic septic tanks can only be awarded if the tank is randomly inspected in view of the small percentage of inspections which happen annually; if the introduction of a system of inspections being requested by domestic dwelling owners with a view to expanding grant qualification will be examined; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20240/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Septic Tank Inspections)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Domestic Waste Water Treatment Systems (Financial Assistance) Regulations 2013, a copy of which is available in the Oireachtas library, brought into operation a grant scheme to assist with the cost of remediation of septic tanks and domestic waste water treatment systems which are deemed, following inspection under the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Inspection Plan, to require repair or upgrading. 
The Re...

280. Deputy Catherine Murphy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the circumstances in which a Part 8 development must be re-advertised for a period of time in order for the general public to make further submissions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20252/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Planning Guidelines)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): I propose to take Questions Nos. 277 and 280 together.
Neither section 179 of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, nor Part 8 of the Planning and Development Regulations made thereunder, relating to proposed development by a local authority that does not require environmental impact assessment or appropriate assessment, provide for a second round of public consultation in relation to a proposed development ...

281. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the funding allocated in 2017 to deal with the homeless issue; the funding provided to each local authority respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 20284/18 asked on 09 May 2018 - Homelessness Strategy)

Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (Deputy Eoghan Murphy): My Department provides current funding, under Section 10 of the Housing Act 1988, to housing authorities towards the cost of providing accommodation and related services for individuals experiencing homelessness.  Housing authorities are also required to provide at least 10% of the cost of any service they are funding.  Funding in respect of homeless services is allocated on a regional basis.  Details of the 2017 funding...