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Written Answers - Social and Affordable Housing

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 320.  Deputy Eric Byrne Information on Eric J. Byrne Zoom on Eric J. Byrne  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  his views on the many different formulas for calculating persons’ eligibility for housing; his further views that it is wrong that Dublin City Council has one system which is completely different to the adjoining South Dublin County Council area’s method of calculating persons entitlements for social housing; his further views that there is an urgent need to review the methodology used throughout the entire country so that there is a single, common formula that is used throughout the entire country as opposed to the formulas that currently exist in each different area and that this new method is fair, equitable and transparent; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6475/12]

Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government (Deputy Jan O’Sullivan): Information on Jan O'Sullivan Zoom on Jan O'Sullivan Sections of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 2009 dealing with social housing support, and related Social Housing Assessment Regulations, 2011, were commenced on 1 April 2011. The Regulations contain national eligibility criteria, including maximum income limits. These mandatory criteria must be applied by all housing authorities in assessing a household’s eligibility for social housing support.

The new arrangements seek to streamline the process of applying for social housing support, both for the applicant and the local authority, while at the same time allowing a reasonable level of choice to households as to the areas in which they would like to receive social housing support. The new system includes a requirement that applicants may only make an application for housing support to a single housing authority for the purpose of determining whether or not they have a housing need. It requires completion of a new standard application form and provides maximum net income limits according to the area of application.

The ultimate aim of the new system is to provide a fair, consistent and transparent approach to eligibility for social housing support across the country and I am satisfied that the provisions are generally working well. My Department is currently reviewing the operation of the new regulations and, when the review is finalised, will implement any changes necessary.

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