Fine Gael TD for Mayo Michelle Mulherin has today welcomed confirmation from the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Jan O'Sullivan, that the Government is preparing legislation to replace the Tenant Purchase Scheme which expired at the end of 2012. It was confirmed to Deputy Mulherin in response to a parliamentary question which she tabled, that the General Scheme of a Housing Bill will enable local authority tenants to purchase their homes. An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, subsequently confirmed to Deputy Mulherin in Dáil Eireann this week that the legislation may come to Cabinet before the end of this year.
Deputy Mulherin said: “This is an issue I have been raising and I am delighted that the Government is preparing legislation to replace the Tenant Purchase Scheme which expired at the end of 2012. Since that time, there has been no scheme in place to enable tenants to purchase local authority homes and the news that the scheme is being renewed will be strongly welcomed by would be buyers of local authority housing.
“The Bill will underpin a new tenant purchase scheme for existing local authority houses along incremental purchase lines, involving discounts for purchasing tenants linked to household income and a discount-related charge on the property that will dwindle away over a period, unless the house is resold or the purchaser fails to comply with conditions of the sale. The commencement date for the new scheme will be set when the necessary regulations are made on enactment of the Bill.”
Deputy Mulherin said: “It is important that tenants have this choice and should be encouraged where possible to buy their homes instead of paying rent and having nothing to show for that money in the long term. It has been demonstrated in many cases that, where people own their own homes, they feel they have a greater stake in their community and will invest in the wellbeing of that community.”