DCC forced to abandon Tenant In Situ scheme due to Government strategyGary Ibbotson 21 Jan 2022
The Government’s Housing for All strategy has forced Dublin City Council to abandon its house-buying scheme for tenants facing eviction, the council has confirmed.
The scheme was introduced to help prevent people from falling into homelessness due to the threat of eviction from landlords.
The council confirmed that it has had to halt the programme due to Government intervention and the roll out of the Housing for All strategy.
Sinn Féin councillor Daithí Doolan said after this month’s council meeting that “Dublin City Council developed the Tenant In Situ scheme in 2018 as a homeless prevention tool.
“The scheme allowed Dublin City Council to buy homes where the tenant faced eviction through no fault of their own.
“This allowed the family remain as council tenants and avoid the trauma of homelessness. This scheme was very successful. It prevented 147 families from entering homelessness.
“It was revealed in a question I raised at tonight’s council meeting that this Government has placed an embargo on any further homes being bought by the council under this scheme, as well as purchases in general.
“This is shocking. It is particularly unacceptable as the homeless crisis continues to deepen.”
According to figures released by the council, 23 households were housed under the programme in 2018, 62 were housed in 2019, 40 in 2020, and 22 in 2021.
However, the council says that “funding has been diverted to other forms of housing delivery such as new construction, multi-unit turnkey, and regeneration projects.
“As delivery increases through these streams it is expected that this will address the shortfall from the loss of the Acquisition Programme.
“Dublin City Council has been advised that there will be approval for a very limited number of individual acquisitions of vacant larger four bedroom properties and one bedroom units for Housing First and homeless families, and properties which have been long term vacant and can be acquired under the Buy and Renew scheme.
“Acquisitions are be capped nationally at 200 units per annum. In light of this DCC is not in a position to continue with Tenant in Situ Acquisitions programme,” the council said.
Doolan says the Government’s attitude towards vulture funds is “in contrast” with the council’s housing scheme as the funds are still allowed to buy “masses of homes, some of which are being leased by the council.
“It is essential that Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien reverses this decision and allows councils to purchase homes again.
“Of course the main focus needs to be on council new-builds but purchasing is also an essential tool, especially in Dublin City where development land is so limited,” he says.