Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Questions (53, 68, 69, 86, 95, 102, 1142, 1150, 1171)

Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

53. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the review of income limits for social housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1469/19]

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Brian Stanley

Question:

68. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to review the income thresholds to qualify for social housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1295/19]

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Darragh O'Brien

Question:

69. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the review of the income eligibility limits for social housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1313/19]

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Brendan Smith

Question:

86. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the review of income eligibility limits for social housing will be published; when the limits will be increased; if his attention has been drawn to the particular difficulties in areas such as in counties Cavan and Monaghan in which income limits are very low; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1419/19]

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Brendan Smith

Question:

95. Deputy Brendan Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the review of income eligibility limits for social housing will be finalised and published; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1420/19]

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Brian Stanley

Question:

102. Deputy Brian Stanley asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if there has been an assessment in recent years of the qualification criteria needed to qualify for social housing in particular in regard to income thresholds applied by local authorities. [1296/19]

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Aindrias Moynihan

Question:

1142. Deputy Aindrias Moynihan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the review of income eligibility for social housing will be completed. [54543/18]

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Fergus O'Dowd

Question:

1150. Deputy Fergus O'Dowd asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the status of the 2018 review of income eligibility levels for social housing; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1076/19]

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Robert Troy

Question:

1171. Deputy Robert Troy asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the review into the income eligibility limits for social housing applications will be published. [1326/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 53, 68, 69, 86, 95, 102, 1142, 1150 and 1171 together.

The Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 prescribe maximum net income limits for each local authority, in different bands according to the area concerned, with income being defined and assessed according to a standard Household Means Policy.

The income bands and the authority area assigned to each band were based on an assessment of the income needed to provide for a household's basic needs, plus a comparative analysis of the local rental cost of housing accommodation across the country. It is important to note that the limits introduced at that time also reflected a blanket increase of €5,000 introduced prior to the new system coming into operation, in order to broaden the base from which social housing tenants are drawn, both promoting sustainable communities and also providing a degree of future-proofing.

As part of the broader social housing reform agenda, a review of income eligibility for social housing supports in each local authority area is underway. The Housing Agency is continuing to carry out the detailed statistical work, which will underpin this review, on behalf of my Department.

The review will also have regard to current initiatives being brought forward in terms of affordability and cost rental and will be completed when the impacts of these parallel initiatives have been considered.