Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue has called on the Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government to publish a report on the Tenant Purchase Scheme immediately.

The scheme was introduced last year and is aimed at allowing local authority tenants to buy their homes; however the criteria is so strict that very few people have been able to get approval.

Deputy McConalogue believes the restrictions are too rigid and must be amended.

“The re-introduction of the Tenant Purchase Scheme was a welcome move by the Government however it quickly became clear that the eligibility criteria was excluding a large number of people from applying”, he explained.

“I have been contacted by a number of constituents who were unsuccessful applicants because they were solely dependent on social welfare payments. The majority of these are old age pensioners who have dreamed of owning their own home. They were rejected from the scheme in spite of the fact that they had saved enough money to support the purchase of their home, and in other cases they were able to demonstrate that they had the support of family members to help them with the purchase.

“This is an issue I have been raising in the Dáil since the Tenant Purchase Scheme was introduced. The former Minister for Housing agreed that a review of the scheme would be carried out after one year. I made a submission earlier this year on behalf of the people who have been in contact with me.

“The new Minister for Housing, Deputy Eoghan Murphy confirmed to me that the review has now been completed and the report has been finalised.

“This report needs to be published as soon as possible and the Minister must ensure that those who demonstrate they are able to buy their home are allowed to enter into the Tenant Purchase Scheme”.