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Written Answers - Local Authority Housing

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 754 No. 3

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 350.  Deputy Willie Penrose Information on Willie Penrose Zoom on Willie Penrose  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if he will outline the current terms of the tenant purchase scheme including the [481]eligibility criteria; the closing date for participation in this scheme; if a new scheme will be introduced to replace the existing scheme which will expire in December 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [6888/12]

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 The current tenant purchase scheme, known as the 1995 Tenant Purchase Scheme, is provided for in section 90 of the Housing Act, 1966. The details of the scheme are set out in the legislation and in the associated regulations. Housing authorities have adopted Purchase Schemes to implement the scheme in their areas.

The criteria for a tenant purchasing a home under the tenant purchase scheme include that a tenant must have a period of reckonable tenancy of at least one year’s duration. The Housing Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1997 provides that a housing authority may refuse to sell a dwelling to a tenant where the authority considers that the tenant is or has been engaged in anti-social behaviour or that a sale to that tenant would not be in the interest of good estate management. Certain classes of houses, as distinct from tenants, may be excluded from sale under the Regulations and in accordance with the provisions of individual tenant purchase schemes adopted by housing authorities.

There is no specific expiry date yet set for the 1995 Scheme. However, it remains the intention, as announced in 2010, that the tenant purchase arrangements be wound down in 2012 to be replaced by a new scheme based on the incremental purchase model. This change will require amending legislation. Details of the proposed new scheme and the arrangements for winding down the 1995 scheme will be announced when proposals are further advanced. My Department has reminded housing authorities to inform all existing tenants of houses of the decision to end the tenant purchase scheme in 2012 so that they have sufficient time to apply to purchase their home under the existing scheme if they so wish.

Question No. 351 answered with Question No. 309.

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