Written Answers. - Local Authority Housing Problems.

Ben Briscoe

Question:

351 Mr. Briscoe asked the Minister for the Environment the organisations he and his Department intend to consult in preparation of legislation to deal with problem tenants in local authority housing. [16616/96]

Noel Dempsey

Question:

374 Mr. Dempsey asked the Minister for the Environment the current status of his plans to bring forward proposals to deal with drug related problems on local authority estates; the plans, if any, he has to address similar problems being experienced by private estates; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16958/96]

I propose to take Questions Nos. 351 and 374 together.

The Government announced on 9 July last that legislation to address the problem of anti-social behaviour in local authority housing areas would be presented to the Dáil as soon as possible. It is intended that the term "anti-social behaviour" will be carefully defined for this purpose so as to focus especially on drug pushing and related activity.
The Bill is aimed primarily at providing necessary legislative support to strengthen the capacity of housing authorities to deal with anti-social behaviour as one element in the management of their housing estates. However, it is envisaged that the Bill will also provide discretion, in certain circumstances, for health boards to refuse or withdraw assistance under the SWA scheme towards rent or mortgage costs of private housing.
The Bill is being drafted as a matter of urgency. In addition to the normal process of consultation with the Attorney General's Office and with other Departments concerned, consultations have taken place with relevant local authorities, including members of Dublin Corporation, and with representatives of Threshold. A meeting has been arranged with representatives of the County and City Managers' Association and written submissions have been received from the Irish Council for Social Housing and a number of public representatives.