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Government tenant purchase policy contributing to Housing Crisis & must be replaced - Ó Broin

23 February, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin has criticised government tenant purchase policy stating it has “contributed to the Housing Crisis and must be replaced”. Deputy Ó Broin’s comments come as Sinn Féin published its submission to the review of the tenant purchase scheme.

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Sinn Féin supports the principle of Tenant Purchase. Tenant Purchase allows working families to purchase their homes and ensures greater security of tenure for them and their families.

“However, a huge concern for Sinn Féin is that due to the failure of successive governments to provide an adequate supply of social housing stock, tenant purchase has over a number of decades contributed to an overall depletion of the social housing stock.

“Sinn Féin believe that the current scheme is flawed and should be replaced with a new scheme based on seven recommendations outlined below. A key recommendation is that any housing stock sold by the local authority must be replaced on a one-for-one basis with new or purchased additional units to the Council housing stock. These replacement units must be additional to the local authorities overall housing provision targets under Rebuilding Ireland. All tenant purchase receipts must be ring-fenced for future provision of social housing.  

“We also recommend that individual local authorities should have a certain level of autonomy when it comes to managing their stock in relation to Tenant Purchase. For example, any future tenant purchase scheme should include the provision for individual local authorities to limit the sale of its housing stock in high pressure housing areas.

“Furthermore, in order to ensure that minimum quantities for each property type exit within local authorities, for example specially adapted homes for tenants with disabilities, the issue of the exclusion of certain local authority properties from a tenant purchase scheme should be a matter for each local authority.

“In the medium term, in order to ensure that all future large scale public housing schemes are able to achieve a strong income mix, we believe they should include affordable houses alongside affordable rental and differential rental schemes. This would ensure a greater income mix within council estates contributing to balanced and sustainable communities and local economies.” 

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