Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Questions (665)

Richard Boyd Barrett


665. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of applicants removed from the housing list in each of the years 2014 to 2018 due to being over the income thresholds by local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5437/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

Details on the number of households qualified for social housing support in each local authority area are provided in the statutory Summary of Social Housing Assessments (SSHA). The SSHA has been conducted on an annual basis since 2016, prior to which it was carried out once every three years with the last Summary under this approach having taken place in 2013 i.e. there was no SSHA carried out in either 2014 or 2015. The most recently conducted SSHA, carried out in June 2018, details the number of households on all local authority waiting lists as at 11 June 2018 (the count date).

The SSHA process requires all local authorities to review those households who are on their housing list but who are not currently in receipt of social housing support. This is to ensure that the details of the applicant households are up to date and accurate and that they remain eligible for, and in need of, social housing support in accordance with the criteria set down in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and associated Social Housing Assessment Regulations.

As part of this assessment, all local authorities wrote to relevant households, including those in transitional and shared or emergency accommodation, if relevant, informing them of the assessment process and seeking updated information where necessary.

The oversight and management of these lists is a matter for the relevant local authority in accordance with the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009 and associated regulations. On review, households found to exceed the limits on income eligibility grounds were removed from the list.

Complete national data on the number of households removed from housing lists due to their income exceeding the relevant eligibility thresholds in 2016 and 2017 is not available. However a separate exercise carried out by the Housing Agency in 2018, as part of the SSHA 2018 process, indicated that 971 households were removed from the list on income eligibility grounds. This represents just under 9% of the total number removed from lists during the period.