Thursday, 19 January 2023
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
227. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government when his Department will provide clarity on the amount of funding to be made available to Louth County Council to acquire homes under the tenant-in-situ scheme; when the resources will be allocated to the local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2469/23]
Housing for All, is the Government’s plan to increase the supply of housing to an average of 33,000 per year over the next decade. This includes the delivery of 90,000 social homes by 2030. Housing for All is supported by an investment package of over €4bn per annum, through an overall combination of €12bn in direct Exchequer funding, €3.5bn in funding through the Land Development Agency and €5bn funding through the Housing Finance Agency.
Under Housing for All, the Government will deliver 47,600 new build social homes and 3,500 social homes through long-term leasing in the period 2022-2026. Our clear focus is to increase the stock of social housing through new build projects delivered by local authorities and Approved Housing Bodies (AHB) and, with this, to reduce the numbers of social homes delivered through acquisition programmes.
My Department does not operate a specific Tenant-in-Situ Scheme, rather acquisitions of second hand properties for social housing fall under a number of local authority and AHB acquisitions programmes. On 19 January 2022, my Department issued a circular letter to local authorities advising that social housing acquisitions by local authorities and AHB CALF acquisitions in 2022 would be focussed on a number of priority areas, as follows:
- One-bedroom units to deliver on Housing First and meet the short supply in this category;
- Other properties that allow persons/families to exit homelessness; and
- Specific housing required for/suitable for individuals with a disability or other particular priority needs.
Local authorities were also advised that limited acquisitions through the Capital Assistance Scheme will also be approved, subject to the available budget for specific vulnerable cohorts, such as housing for older people, accommodation for individuals and families who are homeless and for people with a disability.
On 20 April 2022, a further circular letter issued to local authorities in relation to social housing acquisitions. The key purpose of this circular was to advise local authorities that I had reinstated the delegated sanction to local authorities in respect of social housing acquisitions which are:
(i) in one of the priority categories set out in the January circular letter;
(ii) in line with acquisition cost guidelines; and
(iii) could be completed during 2022.
In November 2022 I extended the arrangements relating to the delegated sanction to the end of June 2023. I have requested local authorities to be proactive in acquiring properties which can prevent homelessness, including properties where a notice of termination has been issued to the tenant. Funding is available in my Department to support properties acquired by Louth County Council, in line with the delegated sanction in place.