Housing; Local Government and Heritage | Local Infrastructure Housing Activation Fund in Maynooth, Co. Kildare
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the extent to which the necessary funding is being provided through LIHAF or otherwise in respect of infrastructural projects such as the alleviation of traffic or other issues for Maynooth, County Kildare; the full extent of the total amount of funding awarded; when the award was made; the progress to date in achieving the targets identified; the administrative or other work already completed or still awaiting completion; when it is likely that onsite works will begin given the absolute necessity for such measures as the eastern bypass route and other traffic alleviation matters; 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 for works at Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
Kildare County Council was approved grant funding for the construction of the Maynooth Eastern Relief Road (MERR) and a bridge crossing a railway and the Royal Canal. In 2017, the total approved grant funding for this project was €14.5m with €10.88m (75%) being funded by my Department and the remaining 25% being funded by Kildare County Council. To assist with design and construction cost inflation, Kildare County Council has been notified of additional Exchequer grant funding of €2.176m towards the cost of the works bringing the Exchequer LIHAF grant funding available to €13.076m (including VAT).
I am informed that developers are currently engaged in the planning process for the delivery of housing units on the LIHAF supported lands. Kildare County Council are liaising with a range of stakeholders, including my Department, to advance the MERR project, with these discussions currently ongoing.
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