A “total failure” is how one Galway TD has described the Government’s tenant purchase scheme, which has seen only 11 houses sold in the State under its terms, with no houses sold in County Galway, while in Mayo, only one home was transferred into the tenant’s ownership.
The scheme was introduced in 2016 by the last Fine Gael led Government, but Fianna Fáil Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív pointed out that despite there being more than 70,000 homeowners in mortgage arrears, “only a few hundred” have been able to avail of the Mortgage to Rent scheme as many “fail to meet their targets”.
He pointed out that even if a family has enough money to buy their home, they are automatically excluded from applying if the majority of their income comes from social welfare payments. Also, people in their 60s are precluded from the scheme if the State pension or payments made under participation schemes, such as the Rural Social Scheme, makes up the bulk of their income.
Dep Ó Cuív is calling for the scheme to be “revamped” to make it “more attractive” to tenants and to local authorities. He said doing so could “generate income for councils as well as securing home ownership for local authority tenants”. He also added: “I believe that home ownership is one of great stabilising characteristics of a decent society.”