Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Housing Policy

Photo of Michael Healy-RaeMichael Healy-Rae (Kerry, Independent)
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243. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will consider broadening the qualifying criteria for persons who live in local authority houses and wish to purchase those houses in respect of the tenant purchase scheme (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17131/22]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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The Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme is open to eligible tenants, including joint tenants, of local authority houses that are available for sale under the Scheme.

The Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 provides that the Minister may set out a minimum income required for tenants to qualify under the scheme. The minimum income requirement has a dual purpose - it ensures the scheme is sustainable and that the tenant purchasing the house has the financial means to maintain and insure the property for the duration of the charged period.

When determining the minimum reckonable income, local authorities can include income from a number of different sources and classes, such as from employment; private pensions; the contributory and non-contributory State pension; maintenance payments and certain social welfare payments, including pensions where these are secondary to employment income.

In line with commitments in Housing for All, I recently introduced changes to the scheme. These included inter alia revising the minimum income criteria for applicants from €15,000 to €12,500, thereby allowing older tenants in particular (whose only income might be the contributory or non-contributory State pension) to buy their homes if they have the means.

Further changes to the scheme are being examined as part of the work on the broader social housing reform agenda.


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