Thursday, 24 January 2019

Ceisteanna (297, 298, 299)

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

297. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government his policy on the way in which approved housing bodies allocate housing units, set rents and make available units to tenants that are not on the social housing waiting list of the local authority and whose rents are not differentially set; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3561/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

298. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if approved housing bodies that receive State funding can allocate housing units on criteria other than that set by the local authority housing waiting list. [3562/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bríd Smith

Ceist:

299. Deputy Bríd Smith asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if his attention has been drawn to the proposal of an approved housing body to allocate housing units to couples that will pay €1,500 per month in rent that are not on the social housing waiting lists and that will have some of the rent set aside as a savings scheme to purchase a home in the future; if this scheme has his approval; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3563/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 297 to 299, inclusive, together.

The manner in which Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) allocate dwellings and set rent is dependent on the way in which the building/acquisition of the dwellings was funded.

Where AHB homes are acquired with funding under the Capital Advanced Loan Facility/Payment and Availability Agreement, or are leased with assistance under the Long-Term Leasing Scheme, it is a condition of such funding that tenancies may only be allocated to households nominated by the relevant housing authority from their social housing waiting list. Such tenants pay the differential rent set out in the relevant housing authority differential rent scheme. 

In the case of homes funded historically under the now closed Capital Loan and Subsidy Scheme, social housing tenants, that is, households nominated by the housing authority, pay a rent to be determined by the AHB, subject to a minimum set out by my Department, as a condition of the provision of funding under the scheme. Where the development was partly - at least 5% - funded by the AHB itself, however, up to 25% of the tenancies could be allocated to households/persons not on a social housing waiting list, and in such cases the rent to be paid is a matter for the AHB itself.

In the case of AHB units funded under the Capital Assistance Scheme (CAS), it also the case that up to 25% of tenancies may be allocated to persons not on the housing authority’s social housing waiting list in cases where the units are at least 5% funded by the AHB. In such cases the rent will be determined by the AHB.  Social housing tenants in CAS units pay, as a condition of funding under the scheme, an economic rent; if this rent is unaffordable, tenants may avail of support under Rent Supplement from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection.

Occasionally AHBs acquire units without funding from my Department (e.g. bequests, gifts). In such cases, the allocation of tenancies and the rent to be paid is a matter for the individual AHB concerned.

Discussions on affordable housing are ongoing between my Department, local authorities and AHBs. However, no proposal of the nature referred to by the Deputy has been received by my Department at this time.