Housing; Local Government and Heritage | Local authority housing payment requirements
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage the extent to which he may be in a position to alter the income thresholds for eligibility for local authority housing, given the fact that these threshold have not been adjusted for several years, that the tenants are being forced to remain in high-cost rental accommodation at substantial cost to the Exchequer through HAP; if it is expected that any such changes in the income thresholds are likely to take place in early date; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
I am currently considering potential changes to the social housing income eligibility model.
In the meantime, I have approved proposals to scope and develop options for a new income eligibility model. This work will commence shortly under the aegis of the Housing Agency who have been tasked with commissioning it and I expect that the work will complete in the next few months.
I have also recently approved changes to the social housing income eligibility bands. Five local authorities – Carlow, Clare, Galway County, Laois and Westmeath – have moved from Band 3 to Band 2. Accordingly, the baseline income threshold for these areas has increased from €25,000 to €30,000. The change reflects the movement in rents in recent years in these areas and will ensure local authority areas with similar accommodation costs continue to be grouped together in the respective bands. The changes came into effect from 1 October 2022.
Households currently in receipt of HAP have already been assessed and deemed eligible for social housing support. Accordingly, any alteration to the current income thresholds will have no bearing on those households.
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