Francis highlights to the Joint Oireachtas Housing Committee the issues surrounding water infrastructure capacity for housing developments in the context of the housing crisis. Wastewater infrastructure - or lack thereof - is stalling the commencement of housing developments around the country. Francis calls for a national audit of our wastewater systems to identify areas where there is capacity, and areas where we need to improve infrastructure.
Transcript of Francis' questions to County and City Management Association (CCMA), Irish Water and the Department of Housing:
"I somewhat understand the complexities of the topic today, therefore thank them for their statements and the information presented, it is very insightful and alarming at the same time.
Considering the Housing crisis, and the Housing for All plan, the government has set in place the provision of legislation and funding to mitigate the housing crisis. However there are a number of log jams in the system, including labour to meet construction projects, but bigger than this is the provision of water and wastewater infrastructure. Therefore it is of paramount importance that the first thing that has to happen is a full national audit to realise capacity issues.
I have heard today and in the Dáil chamber on numerous occasions concerns of how wastewater is stalling the commencement of housing construction all over the country and in particular in our towns and villages. I can also offer an example of a new estate in Dublin where the wastewater is being stored in an industrial scale tank and being removed by a slurry tanker on at least a weekly basis. This being allowed to happen is shocking to me as a practitioner in the construction space, it does not seem appropriate in our times and I question its compliance in a planning context.
The Land Development Agency (LDA) have mapped state lands to identify development sites for affordable and social housing, and our local authorities also have sites to procure.
My question: I would like to know have the stakeholders here met with the LDA and the local authorities to assess the log jams in the water and wastewater systems and if they have, is a plan in place to allow housing to proceed where there is capacity and mitigation plan to open up capacity in areas where required.
And is it possible to issue us the capacity register noted earlier?
I would like to put my question to all of the witnesses starting with the CCMA please and thanks in advance for your answers."