Tuesday, 19 January 2016
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Social and Affordable Housing Provision
460. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if he is aware that up to 50% of housing applicants at particular locations are declining offers of housing; if he appreciates that careless tenanting policies and poor estates management are the principal causes of housing offers being rejected in certain areas; if he is aware that South Dublin County Council has withdrawn from any structured involvement by the local community in terms of tenanting and managing local authority estates; if he will require housing authorities to invite participation from respectable local community organisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2207/16]
Offers of social housing support are made by individual housing authorities in accordance with their allocation schemes and I, as Minister, am precluded by law from intervening in individual housing cases. I am aware of the level of refusals of offers of social housing across the local authority system and of the various reasons put forward for such refusals. I am concerned with the high levels of refusals reported in some local authority areas. However, I understand that South Dublin County Council has one of the lowest levels of refusals in the country. The Council reported 5% as the percentage of overall offers refused during the 12 month period to 30 September 2015. One of the key reasons identified for the low level of refusals in South Dublin County Council is the use of a Choice Based Letting (CBL) allocation system to allow social housing applicants to choose properties themselves from those available from the Council’s stock.
In order to address the refusals issue on a sectoral basis, I requested that every local authority immediately consider the introduction of a CBL allocation system. Local authority chief executives are currently considering the optimum approach to the introduction of CBL across the entire local authority system.
The management of local authority estates is a matter for each local authority in accordance with well established principles of good estate management and specific local circumstances that may prevail.