The elected members of Ballina Town Council will meet again before approving a new tenant purchase scheme for long standing tenants. The new scheme, which will run hand in hand with the existing scheme, will see tenants who have more than 10 years of tenancy with the local authority get up to a 45 per cent discount on purchasing their home. This new scheme will run alongside the existing scheme from 1995 which saw tenants being able to avail of up to a 30 per cent discount on purchasing their homes.
Under the old scheme, tenants who had been renting from the local authority for more than one year could apply to purchase their home with a three per cent discount per year of tenancy up to a maximum of a 30 per cent discount. However this new scheme will see tenants who have more than 10 years of tenancy with the local authority be able to get the same three per cent discount per year up to a maximum of 45 per cent. Both of these schemes will come to an end on December 31 2012, however tenants who wish to buy their home have to have applied by the end of the current year to ensure that all the correct legal paperwork and financial issues are sorted by the end of 2012.
The new scheme was introduced by the last government following concerns raised by members of the housing SPC from Mayo County Council when they met former minister of state with responsibility for housing, Michael Finneran, before the General Election. The members of the SPC met the former minister of state because of concerns they had with the proposed incremental purchase scheme that was proposed to be introduced by the former government to replace the existing scheme and the one that was up for adoption by Ballina Town Council this week. Under the proposed incremental purchase scheme, tenants would have to indicate their preference to buy their home when they moved into local authority housing. If they did not and later on told the local authority they wanted to purchase a local authority house, they would not be able to purchase the home they were currently living in and would have to move to a new house provided by the local authority. This issue caused major concern to the members of Mayo County Council when they spoke on it, as it did with the members of Ballina Town Council this week. The elected members agreed to adjourn the item to seek clarification from the relevant government department and to get in touch with elected members of the Dáil to see were the new government going to make any changes to the proposed incremental purchase scheme that is planned to come into effect after 2012. They agreed to meet again before the April 15 deadline for adoption of the new scheme.