Thursday, 21 November 2019

Questions (260)

Denis Naughten


260. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the reason local authority tenants cannot purchase Part V houses under the tenant purchase scheme; if there are exceptions; if this applies to those that were tenants prior to the introduction of the 2016 legislation; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48318/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Housing (Sale of Local Authority Houses) Regulations 2015, provide the basis for 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 2015 Regulations governing the Scheme provide for a number of specified classes of houses to be excluded from sale, including houses provided to local authorities under Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000, as amended, houses specifically designed for older persons, group Traveller housing and houses provided to facilitate people with disabilities transferring from institutional care to community-based living.

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. Under the terms of the Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme 2016, Part V homes regardless of when they were tenanted are excluded 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.

I intend to bring a comprehensive package of social housing reform measures to Government in the near future and the review of the Tenant Purchase Scheme will be published as part of that process.