Housing


Our Policy is to enable every household to obtain an affordable dwelling house of good quality and standard, suitable to its needs in a safe environment at a tenure of its choice.  The core activities carried out by the Housing section are:

 

NEW APPOINTMENT BOOKING SYSTEM FOR HOUSING SERVICES

To facilitate the needs of customers and to comply with Public Health guidance, Laois County Council has introduced a new appointments system for Housing Services.  While the Council provided housing services online, by phone, email and post throughout the pandemic, public health measures required that our offices remained closed to the public since 27th March.

Now, as we move through re-opening phases under the Government recovery plan for Covid-19, it is essential that public health is supported through managed customer access at our offices.

We encourage our customers to continue to use our services online, by phone, email and post but if it is essential for customers to attend our offices, access will be by appointment only.  Scheduling of appointments will take place during morning hours from Monday to Friday.

Appointments can be made by emailing housinglcc@laoiscoco.ie or calling 057 866 4000.

Joe Delaney,

Director of Housing Services,

Laois County Council.

 

€3.3 million to Laois County Council for Social Housing Retrofitting

  • Retrofit of homes in County Laois to make them warmer, healthier and more comfortable. Homes will emit less carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Works to be funded by the Carbon Tax.

The Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien TD, has allocated €3.3 million to Laois County Council for the retrofitting of 160 local authority-owned houses in the county. The retrofitting of homes in Mountrath, Portlaoise, Rathdowney, Arles, Portarlington & Mountmellick  will result in warmer, more comfortable homes and benefit householders’ health through improved air quality. After the works, the Building Energy Ratings (BER) of homes will typically have gone from an E- or D- rating to a B2. They will be expected to be substantially cheaper to heat than similar homes heated by oil or gas.

The works, which are part of the Midlands Retrofit Programme and funded by the Carbon Tax, survey works commenced in September 2020 and construction works are due to begin in early 2021. Works will typically involve insulation, upgrades of windows and doors and installation of heat pumps (renewable energy heating systems), as committed to under the Programme for Government. This will help Ireland’s efforts to combat climate change. About 40% of Ireland’s energy-related carbon emissions are from buildings.

Commenting on the allocation, Minister O’Brien said: “I’m delighted to allocate €3.3 million to Laois County Council to retrofit these homes. This is proof of the Carbon Tax in action to improve people’s lives – in this instance for people on low incomes. These works will make homes warmer and easier to heat for householders, some of whom are elderly and feel the cold. Householders’ health will benefit from improved indoor and outdoor air quality, and those currently using oil or gas will see a saving on their energy bills.”

Minister O’Brien added: “Making homes across the country more energy efficient and heated by renewable energy sources is a priority for this Government. The Midlands Retrofit Scheme is an important pilot project for the Government’s plan to retrofit 500,000 homes across the country by 2030. It’s also an important part of the Just Transition, which includes a commitment from the Government that nobody is left behind as we move to a low-carbon future. I would urge Laois Council to forge ahead as quickly as possible to use this allocation, which will improve the quality of life for people in Laois and help reduce our carbon emissions.”

John Mulholland, Chief Executive Laois County Council added;

“This very positive announcement and the committed funding will allow Laois County Council to further progress the business of taking action at local level to reduce carbon emissions and to improve the domestic comfort of many people that reside in publicly owned building stock around the County. It will also assist in developing new skills, training and opportunities for people in our community under the just transition programme.”

  • The Midlands Retrofit Programme is part of the Government’s Just Transition for the Midlands. Under Budget 2020, €20 million was allocated from the Carbon Tax to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to target the retrofitting of approximately 750 homes in the Midlands. Eight counties are included in the Midlands Retrofit Programme.
  • Each of the councils involved in the programme will chose groups of houses in certain areas to be retrofitted’. This will help to ensure that the scheme is cost-efficient and has greater impact.
  • Social housing tenants do not need to contact their council. Any household selected for works will be contacted. To minimise the risk of COVID-19, the local authorities have revised their standard operating procedures for carrying out maintenance and inspections of local authority homes.
  • Retrofitting of homes means actions to improve the building’s insulation or heating systems to improve its energy efficiency. Under the programme, selected council-owned houses in the Midlands region will be retrofitted to a BER of “B2” (or to a cost-optimal level). Works will typically involve insulation of attics, walls and roofs; upgrading of windows and doors; replacement of heating systems with heat pumps; and the installation of LED lighting. They usually result in the BER of a house improving from a D- or E-rating to a B2.

The benefits to homes from these works include:

  • It becomes easier to heat all rooms in a house.
  • There is improved comfort through greater insulation
  • With no ash from solid fuel boilers, indoor air quality is improved. This benefits householders’ health.
  • Outdoor air quality is improved, benefiting the community’s health.
  • Efficient heating systems are more convenient to use. They end the need to remove ash from solid fuel fires. When warming a home, there is no longer the need to regularly feed a solid fuel boiler or open fireplace with fuel.
  • Houses with heat pumps release less carbon dioxide from heating than those heated by fossil fuels (like peat, coal or oil). This helps combat climate change. About 40% of Ireland’s energy-related carbon emissions are from buildings.

For more information on the scheme visit: https://www.housing.gov.ie/housing/building-standards/energy-performance-buildings/midlands-retrofit-programme-local-authority

If you have any specific questions please contact Trevor Hennessy, Senior Executive Engineer, Laois County Council on 057 866 4000.

 

The Government approved additional funding for social housing purposes in Budget 2018 and the overall financial envelope provided has now increased from €5.35 billion to €6 billion to support the delivery of an increased Rebuilding Ireland social housing target of 50,000 new social housing homes to be delivered by 2021.

Based on the 2017 Housing Needs Assessment the proportion of the national social housing target 2017-21 for delivery by Laois County Council is 627. This is the number of social housing homes for delivery via build, acquisition and leasing arrangements under the following specific programmes: LA build (including turnkeys); LA acquisitions; LA refurbs/voids; Buy and Renew; AHB Build and Acquisitions under the Capital Assistance Scheme and Capital Advance Leasing Facility; long-term-leasing via the Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme, the Repair & Leasing Scheme; and Part V delivery. This target does not include the Housing Assistance Payment and Rental Accommodation Schemes.

Contractors, Trades & Security Personnel  

Laois County Council is seeking Expressions of Interest from Trades, Services and Contractors who wish to be considered for inclusion on any of the following Panels:

  • Carpenters
  • Painting and Decorating
  • Fitted Kitchens
  • Contractors for general building work

It is intended that the Panels will compliment Laois County Council’s own Housing Maintenance team, if and when work arises by rotation for planned works or direct call-off in emergency situations.

Applicants must pass a health and safety  assessment and submit insurances (€6.5 million public liability insurance and €13 million employers liability insurance) to qualify on the panel. Applicants must also demonstrate they are tax compliant.

The panel will be formed for one year unless a national framework is put in place during this time.  For enquiries and further information contact Pat Treacy, Executive Engineer, Housing Department (057) 866 4000.

 

Housing First Implementation Plan 2018-2021  

On 26th September 2018, Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and Simon Harris, T.D., Minister for Health launched of the Housing First National Implementation Plan 2018-2021 which will see the highly effective programme to reduce and end rough sleeping and long-term homelessness extended to every county in Ireland. The Housing First Implementation Plan underpins the Government’s commitment to provide permanent and lasting solutions to address rough sleeping and long-term homelessness in Ireland. With Housing First, the priority is to support a person who has experienced homelessness into permanent housing as quickly as possible where they can receive the tenancy and health supports that they require.The Plan sets targets for every local authority and aims to reduce and where possible eliminate rough sleeping and long term use of emergency accommodation.

The Housing First target for Laois County Council for the next three years is as follows:

2018/2019: 2
2020: 3
2021: 4

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION

Laois County Council undertakes to use its best endeavours to protect confidential and commercially sensitive information provided by you in this tender subject to the Council’ s obligations under Law and including the Freedom of Information Act, 2014.  Should you wish that any of the information supplied by you should not be disclosed because of its sensitivity, you should, when providing the information, identify same and specify reasons for its sensitivity.  If your tender is successful the price will, as a matter of course, be available to the public outside of the scope of F.O.I. legislation.  Laois County Council will consult with you about the release of confidential and commercially sensitive information before making decisions on any F.O.I. request received.  If, having considered your views, Laois County Council is of the opinion that the information should be released in the public interest; you will have the option of appealing the decision to the Information Commissioner.  Please note that in the event that no information is identified by you as sensitive, with supporting reasons, then it is likely to be released in response to a request under the Freedom of Information Acts.