Wednesday, 22 April 2009
Dáil Eireann Debate
577. Deputy Deirdre Clune asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the breakdown by local authority of the number of affordable housing units which are completed but remain vacant and the value of this property in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15288/09]
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Deputy John Gormley): Responsibility for the operation of the affordable housing schemes is primarily a matter for individual housing authorities. I have no function in relation to the valuation of affordable housing units. Moreover, as this is determined by prevailing market value at any given time, it would not be possible to provide a definitive total value for all unsold affordable units.
Estimates obtained from a number of local authorities and the Affordable Homes Partnership during the first quarter of 2009 indicated that the number of affordable units on hands nationally was likely to be in the region of 3,700 units. Many of these are already in process of sale or will be sold in the coming months. In light of analysis by the Affordable Homes Partnership and engagement with local authorities, a circular issued to authorities recently setting out guidance on addressing the stock of affordable homes. As part of the overall process of monitoring the status of affordable housing over time, local authorities have been requested to provide data in relation to their affordable housing stock which will be input into an on-line information system to be managed by the Affordable Homes Partnership, on behalf of the Department and local authorities. This will facilitate the collection of more detailed information on affordable housing stock for the future. I will forward a breakdown of the number of unsold affordable units in each area to the Deputy when these returns are obtained.
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