Submission to inform the Review of the Tenant Incremental Purchase Scheme

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Ireland’s approach to housing provision has been disconnected – home ownership, the Private Rented Sector, social housing and homelessness have all been approached in isolation when in fact they are all interconnected. The Rebuilding Ireland: Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness (Action Plan) aims to deal with all forms of housing provision in an integrated manner offering a huge opportunity to take into account the fact that a change in one area in relation to housing provision and supply can have a knock on effect on other areas. There must be a move away from continued over reliance on the private housing sector for the delivery of affordable housing for those on low incomes, and social housing for those with long term housing needs. The Private Rental Sector is under increasing pressure to deliver social housing through the Rent Supplement (RS) and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) schemes and there are 91,600 households on the social housing waiting list.1 In 2016, we welcomed the Action Plan commitment to deliver 47,000 new social housing units by 2021. It is essential that Local Authorities get back into the business of building and acquiring social housing on the scale required to meet ever-growing housing need with the support of Approved Housing Bodies (AHB’s). We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the review of the Tenant (Incremental) Purchase Scheme and remain available to provide further information as required. This submission argues that Local Authority built, owned and managed housing stock is the preferred long term sustainable solution to social housing provision. The sale of current and future social housing stock must be restricted to ensure it can continue to meet the State’s housing and wider welfare needs now and in the future.

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