Less bureaucracy and greater expediency are necessary to support local authorities to secure more homes through the Tenant-in-Situ Scheme according to one South Dublin County councillor. Cllr. Derren Ó Brádaigh was speaking in view of recent figures that he received to an official question, that sought a detailed breakdown on the situation in relation to the scheme to date.
The councillor for Lucan and Palmerstown-Fonthill said“Whilst I welcome all purchases made to date and by my own local authority in South Dublin, I believe that Government needs to address some of the issues associated with the delays in progressing the end numbers to sale agreed more rapidly.
Ó Brádaigh said “At the end of December 2023, 514 expressions of interest had been received for potential acquisitions with 158 properties at varying stages of conveyance toward sale agreed. And whilst this represents very welcome progress and good work by the Council housing section, 142 properties will not proceed for various reasons. 62 of these are from within my own constituency in areas such as Lucan, Palmerstown and Clondalkin, all with large numbers of families on the housing list. Of course, it is essential that all houses being considered are fit for purpose and undergo due diligence and pre-purchase checks, however the fact remains that even after you remove the numbers that won’t be progressed, there are still 57% going through different and lengthy stages of scrutiny.
Cllr Ó Brádaigh also stated “It really is a shame that the Minister for Housing, Darragh Ó Brien only came to see the urgency for the scheme amid much pressure before putting the scheme in place from April of last year. This came after repeated calls by Sinn Féin and only after the Government lifted the temporary ban on evictions that had been in place, and in the face of spiralling numbers into homelessness. Unfortunately, and due to the wider failures by Government to address the crisis in housing, there is now a staggering 13,318 people experiencing homelessness, with 4,000 of these being children.
Ó Bradaigh concluded by saying “Government needs to provide more support and work to greater effect with all Councils to examine the Tenant-in-Situ Scheme in seeking to make it both more efficient and effective. Government failure to control the cost of purchasing a new home anywhere in the country is making it difficult for Councils to compete with the market. I also believe that we need more personnel dedicated to housing procurement to assist in processing the applications. Ultimately, we need delivery of large numbers of social and affordable homes and until this happens, I think we will continue to tinker around the edges.”