Wednesday, 1 May 2013
House Purchase Schemes
Will the Minister of State explain why there is a time lag? The tenant purchase scheme, which operated from 1995 until December of last year, was quite successful. It provided reasonable discounts for local authority tenants who wanted to purchase their own homes. The Minister of State was very vague regarding the context of when a new scheme will be established and she also did not indicate why there is a time lag between the end of the old scheme and the establishment of a new one. I am sure she is aware that many council tenants wish to purchase the homes in which they live. Obtaining council homes often acts as a stepping stone for those on lower incomes to eventually purchase their own homes. There is no good reason for the time lag to which I refer. Will the Minister of State clarify why it exists and will she be more specific as to when the relevant legislation will be brought forward and when the new scheme will be established?
I have been contacted about this matter by many people who live in the city. I stress that I am of the view that all of the moneys relating to any new scheme should be ring-fenced in order to provide new social housing. It should not be a case of running down the stock of social housing. If anything we desperately need a new social housing programme, particularly as the waiting time relating to some housing lists is now 12 years. Will the Minister of State answer the questions I have posed and indicate whether a new social housing programme designed to deal with the unsustainable waiting lists to which I refer will be put in place?