Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Questions (662)

Kevin O'Keeffe


662. Deputy Kevin O'Keeffe asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his plans to put in place a monetary package scheme for local authority and social housing tenants who wish to own their own dwelling; if this scheme could apply to applicants in circumstances in which local authorities within the provisions of regulations exclude certain houses which in the opinion of the local authority should not be sold for reasons such as proper stock or estate management; and his plans to ensure that this monetary package scheme, that is, funding in lieu of the number of years tenancy in a local authority house, will also be made available to Part V homes which are also excluded from the tenant (incremental) purchase scheme 2016. [25151/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

A local authority tenant who wishes to purchase their dwelling can apply to do so through the Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme, which came into operation on 1 January 2016. 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. I intend to bring a comprehensive package of social housing reform measures to Government and the relevant recommendations made in the Review of the Tenant Purchase Scheme will be progressed as part of that process.