Communities Facilities Scheme – Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

The Communities Facilities Scheme is targeted at disadvantaged urban and rural areas, but not exclusively so.  It will fund capital projects or elements of projects that seek to enhance communities, address disadvantage and improve social cohesion at a local level.

Projects or elements of projects of a capital nature may be funded, for example, office equipment, project resources, research facilities, energy efficiency equipment, etc. for voluntary groups.

The Scheme is being administered by the Local Community Development Committees along with the Municipal Districts under the remit of the Local Authorities on behalf of the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.


LEADER is a European Community Initiative for assisting rural communities in improving the quality of life and economic prosperity in their local area.  It is a community-led approach to local development funded through Ireland’s Rural Development Programme 2014 -2020 (the Programme). It is funded under Priority 6 of the Programme, which promotes social inclusion, poverty reduction and the economic development of rural areas.  The decisions are made by local people about their own areas based on the premise that they are the ones who know best what their local area needs and what projects will best fill that need. The aim of the Leader approach is to increase the capacity of local rural community and business networks to build knowledge and skills, innovate and co-operate in order to tackle local development objectives.

LEADER supports locally identified initiatives (at local or sub-regional level) that seek to address locally identified needs and challenges. It is delivered by a network of Local Action Groups (or LAGs), which have selected to implement Local Development Strategies (LDSs or Strategies) for their respective sub-regional areas.

Each LAG has been allocated a rural development budget to enable them to pursue the strategic objective set out in the Local Rural Development Strategy they compiled for the area they represent.

RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) Programme) – Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

The RAPID (Revitalising Areas by Planning, Investment and Development) Programme is a Government initiative, which targets 51 of the most disadvantaged areas in the country.

The Programme aims to ensure that priority attention is given to the 51 designated areas by focusing available resources.  The Programme also requires Government Departments and State Agencies to bring about better co-ordination and closer integration in the delivery of services.

Rental Accommodation Scheme – Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

Local authorities are responsible for the management and administration of the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).  RAS is a social housing support introduced to cater for the accommodation needs of persons who are in receipt of long-term rent supplement.

Persons normally must be in receipt of rent supplement for a minimum period of 18 months and be assessed as having a long-term housing need.  Under the RAS scheme, private rented properties provide an additional source of good quality rental accommodation for eligible persons.

The Public Participation Network (PPN)

Section 46 of the Local Government Reform Act 2014 inserted a new section 127 into the 2001 Local Government Act which enabled local authorities to take all appropriate steps to consult with and promote effective participation of local communities in local government. One of the principal implementing provisions was the adoption by each local authority of a framework for public participation in local government, which aimed to set out the mechanisms by which citizens and communities are encouraged and supported to participate in the decision-making processes of local authorities.

A Public Participation Network (PPN) has been developed in each local authority area to enable the public to take an active formal role in relevant policy making and oversight committees of the Local Authority.

The aim of the structures and processes is to facilitate and enable the public and the organisations to articulate a diverse range of views and interests within the local government system.  The PPN facilitates input by the public into local government through a structure that ensures public participation and representation on decision-making committees and bodies within local government.

All individuals may access local government through the existing arrangements in regard to their issues. For the purpose of this structured public participation within local government, individuals may join an existing group or organisation or they can establish an interest group or organisation and register it with the PPN.

Details of Public Participation Network Websites can be accessed at

Funding Scheme for members of the Community & Voluntary Pillar

The Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government provides funding to 17 organisations which make up the community and voluntary pillar, to cover costs directly related to the contribution to policy-making in the social dialogue process, that is not funded by any other source.

The organisations are; INOU, St Vincent de Paul, National Youth Council of Ireland, Protestant Aid, Social Justice Ireland, The Wheel, Disability Federation of Ireland, National Association of Building Co-operatives, Irish Council for Social Housing, Childrens Rights  Alliance, Irish Senior Citizens Parliament, Carers Association, Irish Rural Link, Age Action Ireland, National Womens Council of Ireland, Community Platform and Congress Centres Network.

Rural Water Programme

Under the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government’s Rural Water Programme, the Exchequer funds improvements to group water scheme and group sewerage scheme infrastructure so schemes can provide a water supply that meets water quality requirements. Some of the day-to-day costs of group water schemes are also subsidised. Administered by local authorities, the programme also helps to provide new group sewerage schemes and improve private individual water supplies where no alternative supply is available.

Funding of group schemes for 2016 to 2018

Local authorities have been requested to bid for funding based on the needs of schemes from 2016 to the end of 2018.

Funding for group water and sewerage schemes will be provided under the following measures.

Seniors Alert Scheme – Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government

The objective of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable older persons, of limited means, to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind.

Funding is available under the scheme towards the purchase of equipment, eg. personal alarm and pendant, by a registered organisation. Funding is made available by this Department.

Funding is being made available through community, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations registered with Pobal under the Seniors Alert Scheme.

Community and voluntary groups are now required to register with Pobal under the Scheme.

Organisations can register and find more information on Pobal’s website (link is external).  Alternatively you can email Pobal at or contact them by telephone  at +353 (0)1 511 7222.