Thursday, 23 July 2020

Questions (119)

Joe Carey

Question:

119. Deputy Joe Carey asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if he will address a matter raised in correspondence (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17770/20]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Housing)

The oversight and management of housing waiting lists, including the allocation and transfer of tenancies, is a matter for the relevant local authority in accordance with the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, and associated regulations.

Section 22 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, requires all local authorities, as a reserved function, to make an allocation scheme determining the order of priority to be accorded in the allocation of dwellings to households qualified for social housing support and to households approved for a transfer, the allocation of which would, in the opinion of the authority, meet the accommodation needs and requirements of the households.

I am aware that some allocation schemes contain a provision for mutual exchange/inter-transfers whereby the local authority will be prepared to accommodate applications for transfer of tenancies between two tenants, including exchanges from one local authority area to another, provided certain conditions are met. Such arrangements are entirely a matter for the authorities concerned. Local authorities, in managing their range of functions in the context of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, adhere closely to the direction, guidance and advice from the Department of Health and the National Public Health Emergency Team for COVID-19 (NPHET). My Department and the local government sector are working together to ensure that all local government services are delivered to the greatest extent possible, where it is safe to do so. The allocations function in local authorities has been operating throughout the period, with a particular focus on ensuring that urgent allocations are occurring, and the various aspects of the process that can occur remotely or safely in adherence with the HSE guidelines are continuing. As we move into a less restricted phase, local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies are working together to ensure that any delays that may have arisen due to the COVID-19 restrictions are addressed, in line with the Roadmap and public health advice.