Written answers

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Housing Schemes

Photo of Bríd SmithBríd Smith (Dublin South Central, People Before Profit Alliance)
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53. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government further to Parliamentary Question No. 217 of 14 September 2022, the way that the twin goals of sustainable communities and long term tenancies are advanced in the case of a tenant who has resided in a council home for over 30 years and who has recently married, yet now finds that they are barred and delayed from availing of this scheme due to the new ruling that both tenants in a joint tenancy must have 10 years on housing supports before availing of the scheme; If he considers this reasonable; if it discriminates against long-term tenants who marry or have a new partner who becomes a joint tenant; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46145/22]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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The Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme was reviewed in 2021 in line with Programme for Government and Housing for All commitments, with a number of changes subsequently coming into effect from 1 February 2022.

The changes include a reduction in the minimum reckonable income required to be eligible under the scheme from €15,000 to €12,500. The time an applicant is required to be in receipt of social housing supports to be able to apply under the scheme has also been revised. This has been increased from one to ten years.

Applications received by local authorities prior to 1 February 2022 should be assessed per the regulations and requirements in place at the time, with applications received thereafter assessed in accordance with the new requirements.

Increasing the time required to be in receipt of social housing supports speaks directly to the underpinning policy rationales for the scheme, namely encouraging good long-term tenants to stay in their homes and helping build more socially sustainable communities. The rules that apply to single tenancies in respect of length of tenure therefore also apply to both parties in a joint tenancy.

Further changes may be considered in the longer-term as part of my Department's work on the broader social housing reform agenda.

Photo of Cormac DevlinCormac Devlin (Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)
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54. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the number and value of grants approved by a county council (details supplied) under the housing adaptation grant for older people and people with a disability by month in 2022; the average processing time; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [46147/22]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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My Department provides funding under the suite of Housing Adaptation Grants for Older People and People with a Disability, to assist people in private houses to make their accommodation more suitable for their needs. The grants include the Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability, the Mobility Aids Grant and the Housing Aid for Older People, each of which are 80% funded by my Department with a 20% contribution from local authorities.

Funding of €81.25 million is available nationally for the scheme for 2022, including an allocation of €3,176,295 to Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council. This allocation comprises of €2,541,036 Exchequer funding and €635,259 contributed from the local authority's own resources. The information available to my Department relates to recoupment by the local authority. The Council recouped a total of €1,044,633 in Exchequer funding to date, facilitating the payment of a total of 166 grants (which are not collated by month) outlined in the following table.

Housing Adaptation Grant for People with a Disability Housing Aid for Older People Grant Mobility Aids Grant Total Recouped (To Date)
€811,568 (112 grants) €175,875 (37 grants) €57,190 (17 grants) €1,044,633 (166 grants)

The detailed administration of the scheme including the assessment, approval and prioritisation of grants to applicants under the various grant measures, is the responsibility of local authorities. My Department does not hold information in relation to grants approved or the average processing times for individual local authorities. This information may be available directly from the local authorities.

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