Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Questions (452, 455, 484)

Michael McGrath

Question:

452. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government when a new tenant purchase scheme will become operational; the way the discount on the market value of the property will be calculated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20940/14]

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Seamus Kirk

Question:

455. Deputy Seamus Kirk asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he is considering introducing a tenant purchase scheme in the near future; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21072/14]

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Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin

Question:

484. Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government if he will introduce an incremental purchase scheme for council tenants wishing to purchase their homes; the plans in place for council tenants to be able to buy their homes from the council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21422/14]

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Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 452, 455 and 484 together.

The Housing (miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2014, presented to Dáil Éireann on 7 May 2014, will, among other things, underpin a new tenant purchase scheme to replace the 1995 scheme for existing local authority houses, which closed for new applications at the end of 2012. The new scheme will be similar to the incremental purchase schemes currently in operation, relating to newly-built local authority houses and local authority apartments, respectively.

I expect that the Bill will be enacted by the summer, following which I will prescribe the commencement date and the detailed terms of the scheme. I intend to relate the purchase price of the house to its market value with replacement cost also being taken into account. The Bill provides for discounts on the purchase price linked to tenant income, but consideration is also being given to the possibility of retaining length of tenancy as a discount criterion in certain circumstances.