Urban Regeneration and Development Fund for Trim and Navan

Housing and Urban Renewal, Meath, Navan, Trim

English encourages local communities in Trim and Navan to work closely with Meath County Council on applications for Urban Regeneration and Development Fund 

Some €4 billion will be made available to cities and towns across Ireland through the Project Ireland 2040 Funds, including the towns of Trim and Navan in Meath West, local Fine Gael T.D. and Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal Damien English T.D. has said.

As part of Project Ireland 2040, the Government is setting up four new funds to deliver better cities, better rural towns and communities, fund new technology and look at how we can combat climate change and effectively respond to the huge challenge it poses.

The breakdown is: €2bn for urban regeneration, €1bn for the Rural Development Fund, €500m climate action fund and €500m disruptive technologies fund

Minister English said: “This funding is great news for Trim and Navan, and for the wider county too. The new €2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund will also encourage greater stakeholder contributions than we’ve had in the past.

“This is part of a longer term plan which delivers the resources to make our new planning framework come alive. Our hope is that this new funding model will move beyond politics and hopefully see more community driven initiatives.

“This fund will act as a driver of development and it is essential that Meath County Council and our community groups apply for all the funding available to them.

“The Fund will encourage collaborative approaches between Departments, agencies, Local Authorities and other public bodies, and the private sector, where appropriate, to pool their assets and work with communities to transform our rural towns and villages and their outlying areas.

“Previously we’ve allocated to Government Departments and to Local Authorities on the basis of what they got in the past – that needs to change.

“Proposals will be expected to be consistent with the National Planning Framework objectives and provide a strategic integrated approach which is consistent with regional and local plans for the area.

“To ensure Ireland benefits we have to completely change how we allocate funding to universities and the private sector on a competitive basis.

“We’re asking them to apply for funding that the State will look at matching,” the Meath West Fine Gael T.D. and Minister said.

ENDS

EDITORS NOTE:

€2 billion Urban Regeneration and Development Fund:

The primary purpose of the €2 billion Fund is to secure more compact, sustainable growth in Ireland’s five cities and other large urban centres (the 59 eligible cities and towns are listed in the annex).  This funding, addition to normal sectoral funding streams, is designed to leverage a greater proportion of residential and commercial development, supported by infrastructure, services and amenities, within the existing built-up areas of our larger urban settlements.

There is a total of €500m Exchequer funding to the Urban Regeneration and Development Fund over the years 2019 to 2022, with €100 million of expenditure available in 2019. An initial call for proposals is intended to be made before the end of June 2018, allowing a 14 week period for development of applications with a targeted closing date at end September 2018.  Proposals will be invited to be submitted under one of two categories:

  1. A)     ‘Ready-to-go’ proposals that can be initiated in 2019.  Projects in this category will have the necessary consents (e.g. planning) in place, be at an advanced stage of design and be procurement-ready; or
  2. B)     Proposals that require further development and that subject to approval in principle, may be initiated in 2019 or in subsequent years. It will be necessary to detail, as part of the bid process, the key steps required for further project development to enable project initiation.

The initial 2018 call will invite bids that may be made for funding a large project on a multi-annual basis, in respect of which project expenditure can commence in 2019. There will be further calls periodically, with funding/allocations to be increased incrementally as the programme becomes established.

Bid proposals must be on a co-funded basis and must therefore demonstrate significant stakeholder contribution in the form of a combination of wider exchequer and/or state-sector capital expenditure, local authority investment and/or land, or other asset contributions.  The co-funding contribution must comprise not less than 25% of the bid value.

There will also be a requirement for 100% (euro-for-euro) leveraging of committed wider private sector investment in the delivery of homes, community and/or commercial floorspace in urban areas, arising from investment to be made as a result of the Urban Fund.

There is a wide range of projects that will be eligible for this regeneration and development funding, including the acquisition, enabling and/or development of areas, sites and buildings, relocation of uses, public amenity works, community facilities, transport, services infrastructure and/or transition to a low carbon and climate resilient society, in an urban context.

Types of areas eligible for funding may include those that include a concentration of low-intensity uses, such as storage depots or warehousing, underutilised ‘backlands’ behind streets and buildings, or institutional sites that are suitable for re-development, as part of an overall regeneration proposal.

Eligible Cities and Towns:

A list of the eligible cities and towns is included below. This may be reviewed post-2021 following the next Census.

Cities

1          Dublin City and Metropolitan Area

2          Cork City and Metropolitan Area

3          Limerick City and Metropolitan Area

4          Galway City and Metropolitan Area

5          Waterford City and Metropolitan Area

 

Regional/Cross-border drivers

1          Drogheda

2          Dundalk

3          Athlone

4          Letterkenny

5          Sligo

 

Towns >10,000 population 2016

1          Swords

2          Bray

3          Navan

4          Kilkenny

5          Ennis

6          Carlow

7          Tralee

8          Newbridge

9          Portlaoise

10         Balbriggan

11         Naas

12         Mullingar

13         Celbridge

14         Wexford

15         Greystones

16         Clonmel

17         Malahide

18         Carrigaline

19         Leixlip

20         Tullamore

21         Maynooth

22         Killarney

23         Arklow

24         Cobh

25         Ashbourne

26         Midleton

27         Mallow

28         Castlebar

29         Laytown-Bettystown-Mornington

30         Enniscorthy

31         Cavan

32         Wicklow

33         Tramore

34         Ballina

35         Skerries

36         Longford

 

Towns <10,000 population, >2,500 jobs 2016

(eligible for either urban or rural funds)

 

1          Gorey

2          Shannon

3          Nenagh

4          Westport

5          Roscommon

6          Monaghan

7          Tuam

8          Thurles

9          Dungarvan

10         New Ross

11         Ballinasloe

12         Carrick-on-Shannon

13         Trim

 

 

Closing Contribution on SF Private Members’ Bill

Action Plan for Housing, Housing and Urban Renewal

Private Members’ Bill

Sinn Féin Eoin Ó Broin, T.D., and Kathleen Funchion, T.D.

 Residential Tenancies (Student Rents, Rights and Protections) Bill 2018

 Closing Contribution by Minister of State, Damien English, T.D

Tuesday, 29th May 2018

Ceann Comhairle,

  • On behalf of the Government, I wish to thank Deputies Ó Broin and Funchion for tabling their Private Members Bill to propose extending the protections of the Residential Tenancies Acts, which currently apply to dwellings under certain tenancies, to also apply to dwellings provided under a licence agreement for student accommodation.
  • While the Government cannot at this juncture endorse this specific legislation, as it is premature until such time as the legal considerations and implications are more thoroughly evaluated, we can readily acknowledge and welcome the broad spirit and objective of the Bill, as a genuine attempt to improve the situation for students at a time of under-supply in the residential rental sector.
  • It is in the interest of Government to ensure student accommodation is affordable, and not subject to excessive increases.
  • The existing Government financial support for students is finite in terms of taxpayers’ money. Do you propose cuts to the maintenance grant? Do you propose cuts to grants and funds for mature students in third level education? Or do you propose to cut the wages of our lecturers in the third level sector?.
  • Equally, parents’ or students’ own resources are hard earned and should not be swallowed up either. Students should not have to face entering the work-force with a massive debt to re-pay. We need affordable rents across the country and not just for students.
  • Unreasonable accommodation costs have the potential to prohibit individual students from pursuing studies in their preferred field because their choice of course might not be on offer close to where they live. Location comes into play and for some, an educational course in Dublin is becoming less attainable for financial reasons, predominantly because of high accommodation costs.
  • We need to provide certainty to students whose finances are tight and finite and help limit their financial burdens.
  • As Minister Mitchell O’Connor highlighted earlier, the Government published its National Student Accommodation Strategy (NSAS) to increase the supply of student accommodation and increase the take-up of digs accommodation. The Government has set a target to see an extra 7,000 bed spaces built by the end 2019 and a total of 21,000 additional beds by 2024. We are currently on track to exceed these targets.
  • A greater supply of student accommodation to meet demand has the potential to ease overall pressures on the rental market, including moderating rent increases, on the basis of increased competition and choice.

Sinn Féin’s Private Members Bill

  • However, I do not believe that Sinn Féin’s Private Members Bill will achieve the outcome of having all student accommodation subject to ongoing regulation. I do believe that this is the right outcome to seek, but this Bill won’t deliver that.
  • The Sinn Féin Bill proposes to apply the protections afforded to tenancies under the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2016 to students living in student specific accommodation under licence agreements.
  • The Bill focuses, in particular, on ensuring that the annual rent increase limit of 4%, as it applies to certain dwellings in Rent Pressure Zones, will also apply to student specific accommodation provided under licence.
  • However, a licensing framework might best suit the business model of student-specific accommodation providers, rather than trying to bring them in under the provisions of Residential Tenancies Acts which do not naturally fit with students, who generally occupy their accommodation for around 8 months of the years.
  • There is a risk that the expected supply of student accommodation coming on stream could be negatively affected by the proposed application of the Residential Tenancies Acts to student specific accommodation provided under licence agreement.
  • We need to explore how we can legally protect all students from high accommodation costs, whether they live in public or private accommodation and whether they have signed a tenancy or licence agreement.
  • We need to provide students with a choice on where they wish to live during their college life. Students should not be forced to take whatever accommodation they can get, come August. They should get value for money and reasonable accommodation that best suits their needs.
  • It’s also worth pointing out that the 4% RPZ limit, if applied to student accommodation, would not be retrospective and would not cover new properties.
  • The measures proposed by Sinn Féin cannot be supported at this juncture, on the basis that a more thorough analysis of the impacts by the Department of Education and Skills and the Minister’s Department, as to whether amending the Residential Tenancies Acts 2004-2016 is the best approach to regulate student specific accommodation provided under licence.
  • It may well be that bespoke legislation, subject to further legal advice, might better achieve the intended purposes of the Bill, without adding significantly to the already very heavy workload of the Residential Tenancies Board.
  • The Department of Education and Skills (DES) is liaising with officials from my Department, including through the forum of the Inter-Departmental Working Group on Student Accommodation which is convened by the DES, to examine the wide range of student accommodation types (and ancillary services) available with a view to considering how best to regulate pricing arrangements.
  • While Government is not in a position to support the Sinn Féin Bill at this stage, we do not oppose it. The Departments of Education and Skills and Housing, Planning and Local Government will consider the Bill’s proposals further.
  • In the event that it is considered that there is a policy-based case for legislation in this area, proposals will be brought forward, either in a standalone Bill or in the context of the second of two Residential Tenancies (Amendment) Bills envisaged this year.

Thank you.

Launch of Report: Evaluation Phase 1 of Dublin City Age Friendly Housing with Support Model

Action Plan for Housing, Active Retirement, Funding, Health, Housing and Urban Renewal

Launch of Report: Evaluation Phase 1 of Dublin City Age Friendly Housing with Support Model

Damien English, T.D., Minister for Housing and Urban Development

Mansion House

4 May 2018

Opening Remarks

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to be with you for the launch of this report on age friendly housing.

The report, which Dr. Kathy Walsh set out for us so clearly this morning, contains the results of an evaluation of the first phase of the Housing with Support Demonstration project.

It is a key priority for Government under the Rebuilding Ireland Plan, with which I am very proud to be associated.

I would like to congratulate Dr. Walsh for her hard work in producing this valuable report on this important issue.

The evaluation of phase one and the toolkit that has been developed will provide a useful reference and guidebook for others who want to replicate this ‘housing with supports’ model in other parts of the country.

I would like to thank Dublin City Council, who generously provided the site for this project, on their lands in Inchicore.

Thanks especially to Brendan Kenny, Deputy Chief Executive and Céline Reilly, Executive Manager in the Council.

The provision of housing is not just about numbers of houses built. It is about how we plan for the future. What we plan today will have an immense impact on how well people will live in their homes in the years ahead.

A key objective of Rebuilding Ireland is to deliver housing that meets current needs while contributing to wider objectives. Rebuilding Ireland also recognises the importance of planning housing for an ageing population.

The fact that this project was brought forward as a pathfinder housing project was significant. It had to be based on best practice and cost effectiveness. as well as taking a cross departmental, interagency approach to housing initiatives for older people. I would like to acknowledge the cooperation between:

My own Department,

The Department of Health,

Dublin City Council,

The HSE,

Age Friendly Dublin,

The Irish Council for Social Housing,

The Approved Housing Bodies and The Housing Agency.

Thanks to all of you, we have a timely project for the future. This was delivered in no small part thanks to the steering committee and its effective chairing by Maurice O’Connell.

Reading the report, so many more people were involved. I want you to know that your work is very much appreciated.

I would like to acknowledge the older people who took the time and care to tell us exactly what is needed for your future independent living. Your evidence is the bedrock to the success of this phase.

Demographics

While Ireland is a relatively young country, one of the key challenges facing us in the years ahead is planning for and addressing the needs of our rapidly ageing population.

The ageing of our population represents one of the most significant demographic and societal developments that this country faces, with the number of people over the age of 65 expected to reach 1.4 million by 2041.

Across the same period, the number over the age of 80 is set to quadruple to 480,000. The implications for public policy in areas such as housing, health and planning are considerable.

Announcing Funding for Housing Adaptation Grants

With such statistics, it is fitting that as well as launching the Evaluation Report today, I am also announcing the 2018 funding that has been secured for the Housing Adaptation Grants Schemes for Older People and People with a Disability.

I am pleased to say that funding of €66.25m has been secured for the schemes in 2018. This is an increase of 11% on 2017.

Over 9,000 households benefitted under the Scheme last year, and with this additional funding, we aim to support the improvement and adaptation of 10,000 homes this year.

I am very aware of the social benefit accruing from these grants in terms of facilitating older people and people with a disability to remain living in their own homes for longer.

It is also very important that these grants can be readily accessed by those who need them. For that reason, my Department has liaised with local authorities to review the accessibility of the scheme and is now working to streamline the application process.

We are moving to a single application form to cover the three schemes:

  1. the grants to assist people with a disability;
  2. those to assist older people in poor housing conditions;
  3. and the mobility aids funding.

This better application arrangement, along with an ‘Easy Read Guide’ to filling the form, will make the grants more accessible to those who need them.

Further consideration will also be given to increasing the funding over the coming years in line with the commitment in Rebuilding Ireland.

Government Policy on Older People

In recognising and valuing the achievement and benefits of our population living longer, we need to ensure that their quality of life is maintained and nurtured.

Government policy in relation to housing for older people, as set out in the Programme for Government and Rebuilding Ireland, is to support older people to live with dignity and independence in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. Research has consistently shown that older people wish to ‘age in place’ close to their families, friends and in the community where they may have lived for many years.

In the past the traditional approach has been to keep older people in their own homes if they can manage, and if not, place them into high support accommodation, such as nursing homes.

It is really good to see more choice in housing types being planned to accommodate our ageing population. This project exemplifies the type of new offering that can be made available for older people in Ireland.

This policy approach is also seen as both contributing to a greater sense of wellbeing for older people and being cost effective. For many, living in adapted or specialist housing reduces reliance on health and social care services and can result in measurably improved health status.

It is important to acknowledge that housing policy for older people is broader and more complex than the mere provision of bricks and mortar.

Indeed, addressing the needs of older people requires a cross-Departmental approach and inter-agency co-operation. The provision of housing for older people, particularly as we look at the future needs of our ageing population, will require a good mix of housing and health policy.

St. Michael’s Estate Pilot Project under Rebuilding Ireland

The St. Michael’s Estate site in Inchicore has been identified as a “Housing with Support” pilot model under Rebuilding Ireland. It will deliver 52 homes.

It is intended to set a new standard for the future of housing provision for older people and to act as an exemplar for others to follow.

The project has been approved for funding of almost €15 million under my Department’s Capital Assistance Scheme with a contribution of €450,000 from the HSE towards additional communal facilities for the residents.

These homes are being future proofed even before they are built, with extra space in all the homes to allow for care staff and/or family overstays, whichever is the more appropriate as time goes by.

This project offers the opportunity for Circle AHB and Alone to design, build and operate a unique development. The new purpose-built housing units will have a range of on-site supports. My congratulations on winning the commission and I wish you every success in successfully delivering on the project.

The ‘Housing with Support’ model brings together a range of services and supports – principally relating to housing, community, social and care needs.

It enables older persons to live full lives in their own homes within their own community. It enables independence and reduces the need to move into long term residential care.

The overall aim is to develop a new model of housing for older people where the key components, physical environment and care supports are provided on-site, integrated into the community and are designed with older people at the core.

Phasing of the Project

Phase 1 of the project focused on the development of the concept and overall design; Phase 2 will provide the detailed design and build process.

It would be my wish and hope that this project will continue with all speed – funding is in place – and that building would commence as soon as possible so that we get to Phase 3, which will see residents move in and occupy the housing by 2020.

It is important that all the key stakeholders continue to work together on this project and drive it forward.

Concluding Remarks

The project we are discussing today is an important element of the Rebuilding Ireland Plan and is all the more significant for the cohort it seeks to support – our older people.

I hope the Inchicore project is the first of many such projects around the country and while I am delighted that Dublin City Council provided the site for this demonstrator project, I see no reason why others can’t replicate this model with private sites and funding.

I want to thank you all once for your efforts to date in turning this concept into reality and I look forward to the day when the homes in Inchicore are complete and occupied.

I want to especially single out the contribution of the chair of the Steering Group, Maurice O’Connell for mention. Maurice has shown a personal commitment to the project, over and above anything that could have been expected. His enthusiasm and drive for the project is infectious and in no small way has brought us to this day.

We have a good news story here and Maurice’s role in bringing housing, social and care supports together within a single scheme is to be commended. He and his Steering Committee deserve our heartiest congratulations.

In conclusion ladies and gentlemen:

  • The groundwork is now complete.
  • We now have a new practical model for housing in Ireland.
  • I look forward to seeing the next two phases of this project completed; and
  • Reaching the stage where people are moving into their new homes for what will be the next new adventure in their lives.

Well done and thank you.

ENDS