Wednesday, 30 May 2001
Dáil Eireann Debate
47. Mr. O'Shea asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the number of local authority houses completed during 2000; the number of voluntary sector houses completed in 2000; the number expected to be completed in 2001; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15961/01]
Minister of State at the Department of the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Molloy): The number of houses completed or acquired by local authorities during 2000 was 3,207 units. While I was disappointed with this outcome, this was the first year of a four year multi-annual programme of 25,000 starts. I am also encouraged by the fact that at the end of 2000 over 5,000 local authority houses were under construction which was the highest level of end year work in progress for 15 years. This increased level of activity is borne out by the provisional output figures for the first quarter of 2001 which indicates that local authorities completed or acquired 800 houses, an increase of 150% on the corresponding figure for the first quarter of last year. I expect authorities to complete or acquire 5,000 housing units in 2001 and that new starts will exceed 7,000.
The Government is addressing the increased need for local authority housing in every way possible including the introduction of multi-annual programming, sanctions for front loading of the programme, more streamlined procedures and greatly increased financial resources. This year capital funding for the local authority housing programme has been increased by 44% on the original provision for 2000 and by 150% on the 1997 provision.
The local authority housing programme is only one of a range of ways in which the needs of households on local authority waiting lists may be met. I am confident that the enhanced multi-annual local authority housing programme, together with the increased output from the complimentary social housing measures and vacancies occurring in the existing stock, will enable the housing needs of around 11,000 households to be met this year and that the increased social housing output over the next four years will meet the needs of over 50,000 households.
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