1. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government his plans to introduce an affordable rental scheme to subsidise rents for low to middle income households in employment; the reason his Department decided not to use the €10 million allocated in budget 2016 for a pilot scheme for this purpose was not utilised. (Question 34098/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Social and Affordable Housing Provision)

Deputy Barry Cowen: My question relates to an issue I referred to earlier during the passage of the legislation, which is the absence of an affordable housing scheme. In the Rebuilding Ireland programme it was envisaged that local authorities would look at ways in which they could facilitate and accommodate such schemes and maybe have them on a local authority or regional basis. The time has come for the Government to bring forward both an affordable rental and affordable purchase scheme, whic...

2. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government his plans to ensure that no LIHAF funding will be released to developers that have not provided for a proportion of the units in their development to be sold at an affordable price that is less than €300,000 in Dublin and at appropriate levels elsewhere. (Question 33571/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Housing Provision)

Deputy Eoin Ó Broin: I am looking for a very specific update on the roll-out of the local infrastructure housing activation fund and, in particular, what the affordability return for taxpayer money will be in specific developments. Will the Government and Department keep to the original proposal from last August that at least 40% of the units in each of these developments should come in at 10% below market price or could some developments have no affordable units in them at all, as the previous...

3. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government his plans to stem the house-price inflation that was in evidence in the second quarter of 2017. (Question 34099/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - House Prices)

Deputy Barry Cowen: The prices of newly built homes are rising much faster than the prices of existing ones. The latest myhome.ie report indicates 12.4% price inflation for new homes in the second quarter of 2017, compared with 5.3% for second-hand homes. What are the Minister’s plans to stem the extreme house-price inflation evidenced in the report for the second quarter of 2017?
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4. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the measures he will take to ensure that all emergency homeless accommodation, including family hubs, funded by his Department will meet the highest possible standards. (Question 33572/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Emergency Accommodation Provision)

Deputy Eoin Ó Broin: In the two reports on family emergency accommodations and hubs published yesterday, one by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission and the other by two academics from Maynooth University funded by the European Union, one of their central recommendations was the need for an independent inspection regime for emergency accommodation, in particular for families. In order to ensure the highest possible standards are met not just in the initial provision of emergency accom...

5. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government his plans with regard to developing and publishing a vacant homes strategy; the date on which he expects to publish the strategy; the elements he will progress in advance of publication; his views on the disappointing take up of the repair and leasing scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33629/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Housing Issues)

Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: Last week, the Minister told us that the vacant homes strategy was being deferred. We had been expecting it before the summer break although it was actually due at the end of March. He said it was being deferred because there were certain measures he wanted to introduce. I gather some of them may be budgetary. He also said there were some elements he could progress in advance of publication. My question is around what elements he might be able to advance ahead of publ...

8. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government if he will examine the method used by voluntary housing agencies to set the rent levels of their tenants and the rights of tenants in circumstances in which they are faced with substantial rent rises; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33384/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Voluntary Housing Sector)

Deputy Bríd Smith: I am asking a question on voluntary housing agencies which is being answered along with a similar question from Deputy Gino Kenny. The substance of the question is to find out if the Minister is aware of very serious rent hikes being implemented by voluntary housing bodies because of methods they use to calculate rents, and if the Minister has any intention of investigating this matter or imposing more structures and restraints on how voluntary housing bodies and approved hou...

9. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government if he will ensure a place finder team is established in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33185/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Homeless Accommodation Provision)

Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett: I have told the Minister on several occasions that the housing assistance payment, HAP, which forms approximately three quarters of the delivery of social housing that the Government is hoping to achieve between now and 2021 is a fantasy and a mirage which will not materialise. It is a nightmare for people to try to find HAP tenancies. I have asked the Minister and tabled parliamentary questions about it, but I have not received accurate answers, or any answer, abo...

10. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government his views on whether the crisis in housing shows the need for a massive programme of social and public house building funded by the State and local authorities in view of the failure of the market and various incentives to deal with the crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33385/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Local Authority Housing)

(Deputy Eoghan Murphy): The Government’s Rebuilding Ireland action plan for housing and homelessness is focused on increasing housing supply across all tenures. I believe this is the key to tackling the housing challenge in a sustainable way. The aim is to achieve total housing output of at least 25,000 homes per year by 2020 and all of the available indicators point to a significant increase in activity towards that target. Good progress is also being made in delivering social housing units ...

12. Deputy Jan O’Sullivan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government when he expects the target of taking all homeless families with children out of hotels except in exceptional circumstances to be met; the indicative length of time such families are expected to stay in family hubs; the arrangements made for children to get to school, after-school programmes and so on while they are in hubs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33377/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Homelessness Strategy)

Deputy Jan O’Sullivan: My question is in a couple of parts. First, when does the Minister expect the target, which has not yet been met, to take families out of hotels to be met? Second, how long does he expect families in hubs will be there? I also ask him about arrangements for children getting to school and other activities.
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13. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government if funding in addition to the NTICI measure 2 funds already committed to will be provided to Cork County Council in order to advance the Crossbarry sewerage scheme. (Question 33119/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Water and Sewerage Schemes Status)

Deputy Aindrias Moynihan: I congratulate the Minister and wish him every success with the position.
This time last year, when the taking in charge initiative announced €180,000 funding for Crossbarry, there was a very real expectation that works would get under way and that the issue with the sewerage plant would be address. The situation in Cluain na Croise, Crossbarry, is replicated right across the country. There is a new estate with a treatment plant and the developer is gone. It needs to...

14. Deputy Eoin Ó Broin asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the status of the ongoing discussions within his Department and the ABH sector on the forthcoming Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Bill 2015. (Question 33144/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Approved Housing Bodies)

Deputy Eoin Ó Broin: I am looking for an update on the ongoing discussions between Department officials and the approved housing bodies in terms of the forthcoming regulations for the future of the approved housing body sector.
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15. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government his plans to improve the income eligibility limits for social housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33117/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Social and Affordable Housing Eligibility)

Deputy Brendan Smith: I raised with the Minister’s predecessor, through oral and written questions, the urgent need to improve the income eligibility limits for social housing in Cavan and Monaghan. As the Minister is aware there are different zones throughout the country and Cavan-Monaghan has a very low income limit. Every week people come to my clinics who are on low incomes but are denied the opportunity to go on the social housing list. These people have no chance whatsoever of getting a...

21. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government if a review of income eligibility limits for social housing has been carried out; if so, the outcome of same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33118/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Social and Affordable Housing Eligibility)

Deputy Brendan Smith: I raised with the Minister’s predecessor, through oral and written questions, the urgent need to improve the income eligibility limits for social housing in Cavan and Monaghan. As the Minister is aware there are different zones throughout the country and Cavan-Monaghan has a very low income limit. Every week people come to my clinics who are on low incomes but are denied the opportunity to go on the social housing list. These people have no chance whatsoever of getting a...

46. Deputy Gino Kenny asked the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government the steps he will take to ensure voluntary housing agencies that are recipients of State funds do not raise their rents out of line with rents charged by local authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33386/17 asked on 13 Jul 2017 - Voluntary Housing Sector)

Deputy Bríd Smith: I am asking a question on voluntary housing agencies which is being answered along with a similar question from Deputy Gino Kenny. The substance of the question is to find out if the Minister is aware of very serious rent hikes being implemented by voluntary housing bodies because of methods they use to calculate rents, and if the Minister has any intention of investigating this matter or imposing more structures and restraints on how voluntary housing bodies and approved hou...

1. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada. (Question 31465/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive, together.
I was very pleased to welcome the Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau, and his family to Ireland last week. The Prime Minister was especially welcome as my first international visitor given the close and historic ties between our two countries. Our meeting was an opportunity to discuss our shared and common outlook on the issues of free trade multilateralism and climate action. We discussed the importance of the bilat...

2. Deputy Eamon Ryan asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister. (Question 31485/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive, together.
I was very pleased to welcome the Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau, and his family to Ireland last week. The Prime Minister was especially welcome as my first international visitor given the close and historic ties between our two countries. Our meeting was an opportunity to discuss our shared and common outlook on the issues of free trade multilateralism and climate action. We discussed the importance of the bilat...

3. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meeting with the Canadian Prime Minister, Mr Justin Trudeau. (Question 32103/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive, together.
I was very pleased to welcome the Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau, and his family to Ireland last week. The Prime Minister was especially welcome as my first international visitor given the close and historic ties between our two countries. Our meeting was an opportunity to discuss our shared and common outlook on the issues of free trade multilateralism and climate action. We discussed the importance of the bilat...

4. Deputy Gerry Adams asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his engagement with the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr Justin Trudeau on 4 July 2017. (Question 32320/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive, together.
I was very pleased to welcome the Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau, and his family to Ireland last week. The Prime Minister was especially welcome as my first international visitor given the close and historic ties between our two countries. Our meeting was an opportunity to discuss our shared and common outlook on the issues of free trade multilateralism and climate action. We discussed the importance of the bilat...

5. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his discussions with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau; and if CETA, North Korea and climate change were discussed. (Question 32470/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive, together.
I was very pleased to welcome the Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau, and his family to Ireland last week. The Prime Minister was especially welcome as my first international visitor given the close and historic ties between our two countries. Our meeting was an opportunity to discuss our shared and common outlook on the issues of free trade multilateralism and climate action. We discussed the importance of the bilat...

6. Deputy Ruth Coppinger asked the Taoiseach if he will report on his meetings with the Prime Minister of Canada, Mr Justin Trudeau. (Question 32478/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Taoiseach’s Meetings and Engagements)

The Taoiseach: I propose to take Questions Nos. 1 to 6, inclusive, together.
I was very pleased to welcome the Prime Minister, Mr. Justin Trudeau, and his family to Ireland last week. The Prime Minister was especially welcome as my first international visitor given the close and historic ties between our two countries. Our meeting was an opportunity to discuss our shared and common outlook on the issues of free trade multilateralism and climate action. We discussed the importance of the bilat...

7. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Taoiseach if he will consider establishing a Cabinet committee on the arts. (Question 31466/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Cabinet Committees)

The Taoiseach: The Government established a number of Cabinet committees last week, of which one, Cabinet sub-committee B, will deal with all matters pertaining to the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, which has responsibility for the arts. The intent in the new configuration of Cabinet committees is to give a sharper co-ordinated approach on policy matters to ensure a whole-of-Government perspective. In addition, as I stated yesterday, I intend to do a lot more on a bilateral...

8. Deputy Brendan Howlin asked the Taoiseach the staffing and media monitoring in the Government Information Service unit; and his plans for changes. (Question 32105/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Government Information Service)

The Taoiseach: The Government Information Service is comprised of the Government press secretary; the deputy Government press secretary; the assistant Government press secretary, which position is currently vacant; two assistant principal officers, one of whom is assigned to MerrionStreet.ie; four press officers at higher executive officer level, two of which positions are currently vacant; three communications and media assistants at executive officer equivalent grade assigned to MerrionStreet....

24. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if additional measures have been taken to strengthen security in the wake of the recent London and Manchester attacks. (Question 33148/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Anti-Terrorism Measures)

Deputy Jim O’Callaghan: These are the Minister’s first oral parliamentary questions as Minister for Justice and Equality. I have wished him well before and I wish him well again now. It is appropriate that I start by asking the Minister a question in reference to the safety of the Irish public. Have additional measures been taken to strengthen security in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in London and Manchester?
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25. Deputy Jonathan O’Brien asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will hold a public inquiry into the circumstances of the Jobstown trial; and if he will make a statement on the matter. (Question 33392/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Garda Investigations)

Deputy Jonathan O’Brien: Are there any plans to hold a public inquiry following the outcome of the Jobstown trial?
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26. Deputy Jim O’Callaghan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the measures being put in place to tackle rural crime, especially against farmers. (Question 33149/17 asked on 12 Jul 2017 - Rural Crime)

Deputy Jim O’Callaghan: What measures will the Government introduce to deal with the ever-increasing problem of rural crime, in particular, crimes against farmers involving the stealing of agricultural equipment and other devices on their farms?
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