Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Housing, Planning and Local Government Barry Cowen says new legislation introduced by his party will make the Tenant Purchase Scheme fit for purpose.

The Housing (Sale of Local Authority Housing) Bill 2016 seeks to address outstanding issues with income limits, age barriers and the fact that voluntary housing tenants are barred from the scheme as it currently stands.

Deputy Cowen said, “The previous Government introduced the current Tenant Purchase Scheme last January. Fianna Fáil highlighted serious deficiencies with the scheme in the lead up to its introduction. The removal of Part V homes in private developments from the scheme is particularly problematic as it closed off the scheme to thousands of potential buyers.

“The fact that only 73 applications have been made under the scheme to date highlights that the scheme has failed and is in need of urgent overhaul. The legislation introduced by Fianna Fáil in the Dáil this week will do just that. It will help ensure that prohibitive income limits and age barriers are addressed. It will also open up the scheme to voluntary housing body tenants.

“Fianna Fáil will be looking for cross party support to progress this important legislation. The recent report issued by the Oireachtas Housing Committee recommends urgent action in addressing deficiencies with the Tenant Purchase Scheme. It’s important that we move quickly to overhaul the scheme and make it fit for purpose.”