Under 'Housing for All' the Government's priority is to deliver 47,600 new build social homes over the next five years. Substantial funding is available to local authorities and AHBs to deliver on this objective as the primary means through which they will increasingly meet the needs of those on their waiting lists. I am also keen that local authorities and AHBs avoid competing with potential private purchasers for available properties.
Given the need to avoid competition and the focus of support on the build programme, I have asked local authorities to limit their acquisitions of privately owned properties, with approximately 200 acquisitions to be undertaken over this year under SHIP and CALF funding programmes.
It will be a matter for the local authorities themselves to decide their specific priority acquisitions, including notice to quit to sitting tenants incidents. I have asked that they have particular regard to the following areas:
- One-bedroom units to deliver on Housing First and meet the short supply in this category;
- Other properties that allow persons/families to move from homelessness;
- Specific housing required for individuals with a disability or other particular priority needs;
Any acquisition proposed must represent value for money per my Department’s acquisitions guidelines.
Local authorities also have the services of tenancy sustainment officers to intervene at the first response where landlords are selling a property rented to a person or a family in receipt of social housing supports. Limited acquisitions by AHBs through the Capital Assistance Scheme will also continue where they are focussed on priority situations including homelessness and housing for people with disability.
I hope that public representatives will support and promote their local authorities to undertake the necessary level of new build social housing to meet their social housing needs, in the knowledge that the funding is available to support them in this delivery.