Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Ceisteanna (333)

Pádraig MacLochlainn

Ceist:

333. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government the reason couples who are separated cannot go on the housing list because they are legally tied up in a mortgage or in joint ownership of a property. [11672/14]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

In order for a household to qualify for social housing support a housing authority must carry out an assessment to establish whether the household meets specified eligibility requirements and has a housing need. Regulation 22 of the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 provides that a household is ineligible for social housing support where a household member owns accommodation other than the dwelling it currently occupies which would meet its housing need. This ineligibility does not apply in the case of separated persons where the alternative accommodation is occupied by a spouse, from whom the household member is separated or divorced. Under the regulations, a deed of separation is sufficient to set aside this ineligibility and it is not necessary for the couple to be judicially separated or divorced. Nonetheless, in the context of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill, which is currently in preparation, I am considering whether legislative change is warranted to deal with exceptional cases that can present difficulties under these arrangements.