For Written Answer on : 28/06/2022
Question Number(s): 249 Question Reference(s): 33617/22
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the direction and supports that he has given to local authorities to enable them to purchase houses that are being put on the market but are the homes of HAP tenants who have received notices to quit the accommodation and who may face homelessness unless the local authority purchases the property and facilitates the continuation of the tenancy; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
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. On 19 January 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
- 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, 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) are in line with acquisition cost guidelines; and (iii) can be completed during 2022. The reinstatement of delegated sanction will allow local authorities to respond more flexibility to secure acquisitions which support a household to exit or to prevent homelessness. It is a matter for individual local authorities to identify suitable acquisitions in line with local circumstances and their social housing allocations policy.