Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has reiterated his call for the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government to improve the criteria for the Tenant Purchase Scheme.

The current scheme prevents anyone dependent on social welfare payments, including pensioners, from buying their home from the local Council.

“There are many cases where pensioners, either on their own, or with the assistance of their family are in a position to buy their Council house.  Many have been saving for years to accumulate the funds to make the purchase, however under the current rules of the Tenant Purchase Scheme they are prevented from doing so because they are dependent on social welfare payments.  This anomaly is deeply unfair and must be removed”, said Deputy Smith.

“There are plenty of families who have lived in Council-owned properties, maybe for decades, and who now have the money to buy their home and want to do so.

“A review which was carried out on the scheme has been completed and has been sitting on the Minister’s desk but it still has not been published.  I am now urging Minister Murphy to publish this report so that the changes to the current scheme can be made.

“I want to see this initiative radically improved to ensure that pensioners and other social welfare recipients are not discriminated against, and that measures are taken to allow them to avail of this scheme”, concluded Deputy Smith.