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Housing; Local Government and Heritage | Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Funds projects in Co Kildare

To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the extent to which LIHAF funds awarded to Maynooth, County Kildare, some years ago, have been drawn down to date; the extent to which the works for which the funding was intended has been initiated; when it is expected that the entire programme will be completed given that delays are hampering the building of much needed houses in the area and the contributing to the ever-increasing traffic congestion arising from the lack of an eastern bypass in the town; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

The Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund (LIHAF) is a scheme which funds the building of public infrastructure by local authorities. Its objective is to provide public off-site infrastructure to relieve critical infrastructure blockages to housing delivery. This enables the accelerated delivery of housing on key development sites in Dublin and in urban areas of high demand. LIHAF was designed to specifically address the issue of housing supply, a crucial factor in terms of moderating house prices. Infrastructure being funded under LIHAF includes access roads, distributor roads, link roads, road improvements, roundabouts, bridges and parks.
In 2017, grant agreements for 30 approved projects were signed between my Department and local authorities. One such project is at Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Kildare County Council were approved grant funding for the construction of the Maynooth Eastern Relief Road (MERR) and a bridge crossing a railway and the Royal Canal. The total approved grant funding for this project is €14.5m with €10.88m (75%) being funded by my Department and the remaining 25% being funded by Kildare County Council. To date, Kildare County Council have drawn down €814,000 in exchequer funding for project costs associated with this LIHAF project.
I understand that developers are currently engaged in the planning process for the delivery of housing units on LIHAF lands. Kildare County Council are liaising with a diverse number of stakeholders including my Department to advance the MERR project with these discussions currently ongoing.

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