PQ - To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage if his Department will reimburse the full cost of the refurbishment of void properties and houses to local authorities as the increased costs of this type
of work is causing unacceptable delays in reallocating the property; if an application for additional funding from Kilkenny County Council for such work for 2022 will be approved.
The management and maintenance of local authority housing stock, including pre-letting repairs to vacant properties, the implementation of a planned maintenance programme and carrying out of responsive repairs, are matters for each individual local authority under Section 58 of the Housing Act 1966.
Since 2014, Exchequer funding bas also been provided through my Department's Voids Programme to supplement the local authority funding available for the preparation of vacant properties for re-letting. The funding was introduced originally to tackle long term vacant units and is now increasingly targeted to support authorities to ensure minimal turnaround and re-let times for vacant stock.
From 2014 to 2022, expenditure of some €290 million has been recouped to local authorities under the Voids Programme which funded the return to productive use of 20,834 properties nationwide. Full details in relation to each local authority, including Kilkenny, can be viewed on my Department's website at the following link:
https ://www.gov.ie/ en/collection/0906a-other-local-authority-housing-scheme
Given the very significant investment into the Voids Programme over recent years, local authorities should now be in a strong position to begin the transition to a strategic and informed planned maintenance approach to stock management and maintenance. To that end, my Department and local authorities are working to transition from a largely response and voids-based approach to housing stock management and maintenance, to a planned maintenance approach as referenced in Housing for All, policy objective 20.6. This will
require the completion of stock condition surveys by all local authorities and the subsequent development of strategic and informed work programmes in response.
My department will continue to support local authorities in their work in this area. Funding allocations under the 2023 Programme will be announced early in 2023.