There is a lot of rhetoric about the plans to tackle the homeless and housing crisis but yet practical measures that would ease the crisis, importantly in the short and medium term are in short supply. A very practical measure that I have called for once again would be to increase home extension funding for local authority grants to alleviate overcrowding and make a substantial dent in the local authority waiting lists. We know the figures being released by the groups on the front line working with the homeless and years into this crisis the problem is not being dealt with fast enough; long term building and housing plans offer little comfort to those families in emergency accommodation. Last week I questioned the Minister about the need for increased local authority funding for home extension grants:
This is a small measure but would make a significant difference for those in over crowded local authority properties and also take some people off the local authority lists. It is clear from speaking to constituents that they are having problems obtaining this grant. I will follow up with the Minister in the coming weeks to find out the outcome of the 2017 funding “assessment”.
QUESTION NO: 438
DÁIL QUESTION addressed to the Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (Deputy Simon Coveney)
by Deputy Maureen O’Sullivan
To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning; Community and Local Government if funding has been allocated to Dublin city council for extensions to local authority residences to help alleviate overcrowding; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
My Department provides capital funding to Local Authorities to undertake adaptations and extensions to their existing social housing stock. The scheme applies to extensions that are needed to address over-crowding.
The Department is currently in the process of assessing the funding requirements for each Local Authority for 2017.
It is expected that works should take place throughout the year to allow for the full utilisation of the 2017 funding allocation to each local authority. To facilitate this and to ensure that there is no delay in respect of priority works under the programme, Local Authorities have been advised that they may undertake works up to a maximum value of 65% of their 2016 allocation in advance of specific approval of the 2017 allocation.