Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Questions (360, 361)

Eric J. Byrne

Question:

360. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to persons living in Dublin who are on the local authority housing list and who cannot obtain private rented accommodation and if they have to move outside the city outside of their council area, they are obliged to have their name removed from the council list and reapply in the new council area where they are renting; his views that this is unsatisfactory as many of the applicants would be many years on the housing list and through no fault of their own have to rent accommodation outside their local authority area resulting in them having to reapply and as a consequence lose their place on the council list; his views that this is unfair; if he will address the situation as a matter of urgency; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11841/14]

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Eric J. Byrne

Question:

361. Deputy Eric Byrne asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will review the situation whereby persons who have been assessed and gone through all processes, vetting and so on to get on a local authority housing list, who if they move to rental accommodation outside their local authority area must start this whole reassessment again thereby creating unnecessary duplication of work by two different local authorities; if he will review the situation and be satisfied that once a person has cleared their name and been accepted onto a local authority housing waiting list that there would be no need to go through the rigours of the process a second time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11842/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 360 and 361 together.

Section 20 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 set down a standard procedure for assessing applicants for social housing support. A household may apply for support to one housing authority only, which may be the authority for the area in which the household normally resides or with which it has a local connection, or the authority that agrees, at its discretion, to assess the household for support. In determining whether a household has a local connection with its area, a housing authority must have regard to whether a household member:

- lived in the area for a continuous 5 year period at any time in the past;

- is employed in the area or within 15 km of the area;

- is in full-time education, or attending specialist medical care in the area; or

- has a relative (defined in the Regulations) living in the area for 2 years or longer.

A household meeting either the residence or local connection condition may specify up to 3 areas of choice for receipt of support in the areas of all housing authorities in the county and city concerned and, if qualified, will be entered on the housing waiting list of each of those housing authorities. Thus, a household that applies to Dublin City Council could, if qualified for support, be entered on the waiting list of 3 of the four housing authorities in Dublin city and county.

A qualified household that moves house within the county and city concerned remains on the waiting lists of the housing authorities for its areas of choice , provided the household continues to fulfil the relevant eligibility and needs criteria for social housing support. Such a household does not, therefore, lose the time that it spent on waiting lists when residing at its previous address.

A qualified household that moves to reside in another part of the State may continue to qualify for support in the county and city for the area from which it moved on the basis of its local connection with that area. Alternatively, the housing authority managing the household’s social support application at the time that it moved may decide, at its discretion, to retain the household on its waiting list. However, a household that moves to another part of the State and applies for social housing support to the housing authority for its new area of residence ceases to be qualified for support in the county and city for the area in which the household no longer resides.