Written Answers. - Local Authority Housing.

Seán Ryan

Question:

215 Mr. S. Ryan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if he will report on the anomalies in the operation of the shared ownership scheme within the local authorities, where Fingal County Council operate on a loan limit of £90,000 and for houses only while Dublin Corporation has a limit of £100,000 for houses and apartments, both based on the ability of the applicant to meet the repayments; and if he will clarify the situation in this regard. [6948/00]

Implementation and management of the shared ownership scheme is, in the first instance, a matter for each relevant housing authority. In operating the scheme, local authorities should have regard to local circumstances and maximum price limits or other details are best determined by the local authority. I would not, therefore, regard differences in the operation of the scheme between one authority and another as anomalies. In this particular case, I understand that Fingal County Council made a policy decision to limit the cost of shared ownership properties to £90,000, with a view to limiting as far as possible, house price increases.

In that regard, I might also add that the council is currently building a number of houses directly which it envisages will be completed within this price limit, a number of which will be offered for sale under the shared ownership scheme.

The application of the shared ownership scheme to the purchase of apartments is also a matter for decision by the housing authority concerned. I understand that, following detailed consideration of the issue, Fingal County Council decided that, at this stage, the operation of the scheme in respect of apartments was not a feasible option due to the additional legal and other difficulties such as lease agreements, management contracts and charges, including maintenance and future refurbishment cost which have previously been identified in this area.