Dublin local authorities bought only 13 of 400 homes under tenant purchase scheme

Just 13 homes, out of more than 400 offered to Dublin local authorities by landlords exiting the market, were bought in recent months under the tenant-in-situ scheme, figures obtained by The Irish Times show.

Under the scheme, restored by Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien last April, councils are empowered to buy homes offered by landlords who are selling up and where their tenant is in receipt of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), or the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).

Since Monday’s announcement that the eviction ban would not be extended, the tenant-in-situ scheme has been cited by both Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien as a key mechanism to protect the poorest households from homelessness in the event of termination notices. They say 1,500 homes will be bought under it this year.

On Wednesday Mr Varadkar, speaking at Government Buildings, said: “We want and we expect local authorities in the main to purchase those homes and move people from being HAP tenants to regular social housing tenants, which is what they should be anyway.”

Speaking at the Oireachtas Committee on Finance on Thursday, the Taoiseach said he was “disappointed” with the level of tenant-in-situ purchases being completed by local authorities, adding the scheme “really needs to be accelerated”.

He said he, Darragh O’Brien and Minister of State Kieran O’Donnell intended to “really sit on” local authorities to make it work at a faster pace.

Figures supplied by Dublin’s four local authorities show fewer than 3 per cent of homes offered by landlords since June last year have been purchased. In all, 460 homes with social housing tenants were offered to Dublin councils since June 1st, 2022, and 13 bought.

A further 382 are being examined for possible purchase, of which 92 are described as at “closing” or “sale agreed” stage.

One council, Fingal, has bought none.

The original article can be found here