April 2, 2024
Cost Rental Tenant-In-Situ Scheme needs urgent review – Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has called for an urgent review of the Cost Rental tenant-In-Situ scheme.

The call was made on foot of information, provided to Deputy Ó Broin by the Housing Agency, confirming that just 31 properties had been purchased since the scheme opened in April 2023 and that no tenants have been moved onto affordable costs rents.

Teachta Ó Broin said:

“The Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien opened the Cost Rental Tenant-In-Situ Scheme last April as part of the package of homeless prevention measures introduced when the ban on no-fault evictions was ended.

“The scheme was aimed at renters, with an eviction notice, who do not qualify for social housing, homeless HAP or the social rental tenant-in-situ scheme.

“From the outset, the scheme has been beset with problems. Initially there was confusion over how to access the scheme.

“While the initial purchase of the property is undertaken by the Housing Agency, the intention was to sell the homes onto Approved Housing Bodies who would become the long-term cost rental landlord and lower the rent to an affordable level.

“However, information provided to me by the Housing Agency confirms that just 32 properties have been purchased to date by the Housing agency and none of these have been sold on to Approved Housing Bodies.

“This means that none of these tenants have had their rent reduced to more affordable values.

“It is my understanding that a lack of engagement with the Approved Housing Body sector prior to the opening of the scheme has delayed the involvement of that sector. It now appears that legislation will be required to address this problem, which suggests further delays.

“I am also concerned with the low level of interest and take up with the scheme. According to the Housing Agency just 282 properties have been offered for purchase. In addition to the 31 purchases to date a further 102 properties have had offers made and accepted.

“These are tiny numbers compared to the almost 20,000 eviction notices issued in the last year.

“Government is not doing enough to promote awareness of the scheme. The application process via Local Authorities is too cumbersome.

“The Cost Rental Tenant-In-Situ Scheme is just not working. Government must urgently review it and put in place the necessary changes to ensure that it operates effectively and provide protection for those eligible tenants who are at risk of homelessness.”

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