Dublin City Council already ‘close’ to meeting tenant-in-situ targets for year

Council may seek sanction to exceed 450 target of purchases from landlords

This year’s allocation for the number of homes that can be bought for social housing tenants in Dublin city from their private landlords is already close to being met, the city council’s head of housing has said.

The Government wants local authorities across the State to buy 1,500 homes this year from landlords who have given notice to tenants who are in receipt of State supports such as the housing assistance payment (HAP) or are in the rental accommodation scheme (RAS).

More than half the national allocation is expected to be delivered by the four Dublin local authorities. Dublin City Council has been given sanction to buy 450 homes. South Dublin County Council can buy 150; Fingal County Council 125; and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown 60.

Speaking to councillors in recent days the city council’s head of housing, Coilin O’Reilly, said the council had already “secured” 136 houses this year, of which 14 sales have been completed and 122 are in the conveyancing process. A further 93 are at the valuation and offer stage. Landlords have offered another 149, of which “114 [are] at initial inquiry and tenant check and 35 at property inspection”, Mr O’Reilly said.


In relation to the total allocation for the year he said: “We’re getting close to it. The numbers that have come in have slowed down a little bit, there was obviously an initial rush, but I’m sure we can go back to the Department [of Housing] if there’s a need for 20, 30, 40 or 50 more.”

To date the scheme was “working quite well” he said. “The staff are engaging quite well on it, which isn’t a surprise in that the city council has always done tenant-in-situ and came up with the project, so the staff know it very well.”

South Dublin County Council said it had received 249 expressions of interest from landlords interested in selling their property to the council, of which 22 properties have been either purchased or are at sale agreed stage and 84 properties are at valuation or negotiation stage. “Due diligence and pre-purchase checks” are under way on 105 homes, the council said. A total of “38 properties are not proceeding due to either the property being vacant/tenant no longer in situ, the tenant having been made a reasonable offer of alternative accommodation or where the property is not deemed suitable for acquisition”.

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council said it had acquired three properties to date. “Further properties are at various stages of acquisition process, including five that are sale agreed,” it said.

Fingal County Council did not respond to queries, but two months ago it had yet to complete the sales of any properties, though 12 were at the sale agreed stage at that time.

A spokesman for the Department of Housing said it expects to issue a progress report on the scheme shortly and there would be scope for the purchase of additional properties above the allocated number. “As Minister O’Brien stated publicly, the targets provided to each local authority for tenant-in-situ scheme are baseline targets. Where a local authority expects to exceed their target they will be supported in doing so in line with the social housing acquisition guidelines.”

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times