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Written Answers - Local Authority Housing

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 755 No. 1

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 142.  Deputy Sandra McLellan Information on Sandra McLellan Zoom on Sandra McLellan  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  if housing authorities are permitted to ask a person to prove that they do not own property in another country even though it is not part of the application form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7329/12]

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 It is open to any person or household to apply to a housing authority for an assessment of their housing need. It is a matter solely for the housing authority concerned to determine whether an applicant for social housing support is eligible for and in need of that support.

Regulation 22 of Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011 provides that an applicant household for long-term social housing support is ineligible for social housing support if a household member owns alternative accommodation that it could reasonably be expected to use to meet its housing need, either by occupying it or by selling it and using the proceeds to secure suitable accommodation. Part 11 of the prescribed application form therefore seeks information on current and past property ownership either here in the State or abroad. A local authority may, if necessary, require additional information to confirm the details given.

In general, my Department would not consider that referring an applicant to an embassy is an appropriate course of action to obtain information on property ownership.

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