Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (1516, 1553, 1573)

Seán Fleming

Question:

1516. Deputy Sean Fleming asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason tenants who wish to purchase their local authority houses under the tenant purchase scheme are excluded from the scheme if they are in houses that were built under the Part V process in view of the fact that this rule did not exist in relation to previous tenant purchase schemes; the reason he does not consider it good policy for persons that live in local authority housing that were acquired specifically under the Part V process be allowed to purchase their homes; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18383/19]

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Charlie McConalogue

Question:

1553. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government when the final report on the review of the tenant purchase scheme will be available; the reason this has not been published to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19149/19]

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Kevin O'Keeffe

Question:

1573. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if the review of the first 12 months of the tenant (incremental) purchase scheme 2016 has been published; and the findings and recommendations in this regard. [19608/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1516, 1553 and 1573 together.

The Housing (Sale of Local Authority Houses) Regulations 2015 set the commencement date as 1 January 2016 for the introduction of the Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme for existing local authority houses.

The Scheme is open to eligible tenants, including joint tenants, of local authority houses that are available for sale under the Scheme. To be eligible, tenants must meet certain criteria, including having a minimum reckonable income of €15,000 per annum and having been in receipt of social housing support for at least one year.

The provisions of Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, are designed to enable the development of mixed tenure sustainable communities. Part V homes are excluded from the Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme 2016 to ensure that homes delivered under this mechanism will remain available for people in need of social housing support and that the original policy goals of the legislation are not eroded over time. The continued development of mixed tenure communities remains very important in promoting social integration.

Local authorities may also, within the provisions of the Regulations, exclude certain houses which, in the opinion of the authority, should not be sold for reasons such as proper stock or estate management. It is a matter for each individual local authority to administer the Scheme in its operational area in line with the over-arching provisions of the governing legislation for the scheme, and in a manner appropriate to its housing requirements.

In line with the commitment given in the Government's Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan on Housing and Homelessness, a review of the operation of the first 12 months of the Tenant Purchase (Incremental) Scheme has been completed and a full report has been prepared setting out findings and recommendations.

Following consideration of a number of implementation issues arising, I expect to be in a position to publish the Review very shortly. Indeed, it is intended that a wider package of social housing reform measures will be brought to Government in the near future and the relevant recommendations made in the Review of the Tenant Purchase Scheme will be progressed as part of that process.