Tánaiste expresses concern over council opposition to tenant-in-situ program

Local authorities in Ireland will come under pressure to buy homes with tenants in-situ as part of a government scheme aimed at preventing homelessness. Tánaiste Micheál Martin criticised the patchy response of some councils to the scheme and encouraged a more “uniform” approach. The tenant-in-situ initiative encourages councils to buy homes where landlords are selling up and tenants are receiving state support, such as the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). Recent figures have revealed that only 13 homes were purchased by Dublin councils out of over 400 available. Martin argued that there had been resistance to the scheme due to a preference among councils for building new homes, but since then Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, has established a unit to engage with councils and give them a directive to purchase homes with tenants in-situ.
Opposition TDs have criticised the government for failing to introduce effective measures, but the Tánaiste suggested that this was an overplayed argument given the short period of the eviction ban. While he refused to blame political parties for the crisis, he did note that Fianna Fáil had made some progress in housing and was building more homes, a trend that would continue in partnership with coalition colleagues. Martin also argued that the movement of people within Europe was a major factor contributing to homelessness figures, as there was a pattern of people arriving in Ireland and instantly applying for emergency housing.

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