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Written Answers - Local Authority Housing

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 3

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 397.  Deputy Dessie Ellis Information on Dessie Ellis Zoom on Dessie Ellis  asked the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government Information on Philip Hogan Zoom on Philip Hogan  the position regarding the development of a national rent scheme, including guidelines for the treatment of PRD in means testing. [16390/12]

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 Housing authority rents are set in accordance with a rent scheme adopted by each local council. The making and amending of rent schemes is the responsibility of housing authorities as an integral part of their housing management functions.

It is a matter for housing authorities, when assessing individual households, to consider whether rents payable are in accordance with the authority’s rent scheme. Therefore, decisions on whether or not to disregard either a proportion of income or particular sources of income for the purposes of calculating rents are matters for each individual housing authority to consider in accordance with their own rent scheme.

[868]Section 31 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009, when commenced, will replace existing enactments in relation to differential rent schemes. Regulations and guidelines for housing authorities to give effect to section 31 are currently in preparation in my Department. When these are made section 31 will be commenced and authorities will have one year in which to put in place a differential rent scheme under the new provisions. While it is not the intention to introduce a national standardised differential rent scheme, the regulations to be made will more clearly set out the matters that may be included in a local rents scheme, including the level, type and sources of household income that may be assessed for rent purposes.

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