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Housing waiting list rules to be radically overhauled

Housing waiting list rules to be radically overhauled

Housing waiting list rules to be radically overhauled.


People waiting for social housing will be allowed express preference for properties.


The State’s decades-old local authority housing waiting list rules are to be overhauled in a bid to ensure all properties are occupied.

The move, by Minister for Housing Simon Coveney, follows publication of figures that show nearly 2,000 housing offers were turned down last year.

In what is being described as a dramatic policy shift, Mr Coveney is ready to move away from the position where people are offered properties based on eligibility and need. Instead, new rules will let prospective tenants express a preference for properties.

In effect, people lower down the waiting list will be able to boost their chances of getting a home by expressing an interest in less-popular properties, or areas.

Simon Coveney TD minister for housingUnder the plan( Rebuilding ), Mr Coveney will make it mandatory for local authorities to advertise vacant properties online. The responsibility for locating a home would be on people on the waiting list, rather than a local authority.


Waiting lists

Figures released to The Irish Times for the year to last October show 1,842 tenants on waiting lists declined accommodation offered to them. Figures released earlier this year show the housing waiting list grew by over 2 per cent in the last four months of the year – from 135,832 to 139,359. A small number– 136 – were suspended from the list for refusing two or more offers of accommodation. The highest refusal rate was in Cork county with almost half of all offers (49 per cent) turned down, followed by Waterford (46 per cent). Over 40 per cent of all offers in Cork city, Donegal and Roscommon were also turned down.

Three of the four Dublin local authorities have much lower refusal rates. In Dublin city, it is 18 per cent, Fingal 15 per cent and South Dublin has the lowest in the country at 5 per cent. Dún-Laoghaire Rathdown remains high at 37 per cent.

Vacant homes

Officials say the criticism of local authorities for having vacant homes is unfair and say the delays in letting properties are linked to refusals.

Mr Coveney is actively pursuing the change. Homes will now be advertised online and people will be able to register their interest.

Cork City Council properties will be distributed on the basis of a person’s time on the waiting list, as well as family size and property type needed.

A pilot project for the scheme, called choice-based letting, has been initiated in a number of areas, including South Dublin County Council, which have seen refusal rates drop from 50 per cent to 5 per cent.

A spokesman for Mr Coveney said in “choice-based letting (CBL) . . . social housing is let by being openly advertised, allowing qualified applicants to ‘bid’ for or ‘register an interest’ in available homes.

“Applicants have to act on their own initiative to respond to adverts and bid for dwellings. This approach offers more choice and involvement for applicant households in selecting a new home, thereby reducing the likelihood of a refusal, and helping to build sustainable tenancies and stable communities.”

The Rebuilding Ireland plan contains a commitment to this type of scheme. However, Mr Coveney has now agreed to make it a mandatory part of the local authorities response to the housing crisis.


Source: Irish Times 12/08/2016




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Tuesday, 20 April 2021

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