Mr. Noel Ahern, T.D., Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal has notified housing authorities of their financial allocations for their local authority housing programmes in 2007.
The 2007 exchequer allocations total almost €1.2 billion and will fund the following programmes -
* Provision of local authority housing - €1,013.000
* Improvement Works Programme - including Ballymun - €127.000
* Central Heating - €33.000
* Total - €1,173,000.
The allocation of over €1 billion for the provision of local authority housing provides for work in progress on over 8,300 housing units and for authorities to complete construction and acquire 5,500 houses this year - including new dwellings completed under regeneration projects.
Minister Ahern said - "The funding of €1 billion I am providing today to local authorities is the highest ever allocated for the main local authority housing construction and acquisition programme. Total funding is almost €1.2 billion when one includes the improvement works programme and central heating."
The Minister continued - "Local authorities are already aware of the substantial funding available for this and future years, for social housing and have been urged to press ahead with implementation of their programmes in order to commence as many projects as possible in the current year. I would anticipate that some 7,000 housing units should be started or acquired by local authorities in 2007 - including new units provided in regeneration projects such as Ballymun."
Record funding of €127 million is being provided to local authorities for improvement works relating to Regeneration projects and Remedial Works Schemes. The Minister said that the improvement works allocations include an amount of €65 million to fund the continued regeneration of Ballymun.
The Minister continued - "Substantial progress is now being achieved in the regeneration of Ballymun. It is anticipated that a further 400 houses will be completed this year and 300 new houses will be started. I am pleased that a total of over 1,000 new social housing units were completed up to the end of 2006 and that another 560 were under construction."
An amount of €37 million is being provided for refurbishment work under the Remedial Works Scheme. In addition, the Minister said - "I am making specific funding available of €25 million to seven urban authorities to undertake major regeneration work to a number of estates in their areas. I believe it is essential that local authorities tackle the problems in these estates and the funding I am making available is a testament of my commitment to improving the lives of the people in these estates."
These seven authorities are - Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Waterford City Councils, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Dundalk Town Council and Sligo Borough Council.
Finally, the Minister concluded by saying that, in addition to the €127 million provided for improvement works, local authorities now have delegated authority from this year to the use of proceeds from the sale of their dwellings under the Tenant Purchase Scheme, to fund planned programmes of improvement works to dwellings in their stock.
The Minister commented - "I anticipate that some €100 million will be expended nationally, this year, on improvement works programmes for local authority social housing from internal capital receipts. This represents additional expenditure over and above the allocations I have announced, which will go towards improving local authority housing stock."