Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim Eamon Scanlon has expressed concern about some of the conditions attached to the recently published Tenant Purchase Scheme. The scheme is designed to facilitate local authority tenants to buy their home at a discount.
A recently published information booklet sets out the criteria for applicants to the scheme, which states that tenants must have an annual income of at least €15,000, excluding certain payments like Carer’s Allowance, Child Benefit and Family Income Supplement.
Deputy Scanlon commented, “While I recognise the benefits of the Tenant Purchase Scheme, I have concerns that some of the conditions attached to it may be overly restrictive. The fact that Carer’s Allowance is not recognised at an income is a particular stumbling block. I have had a number of carers come to me worried that they will not qualify for the scheme. One of them cares for two people and is unable to take on another job to try and reach the €15,000 minimum income threshold.
“This is National Carers Week, and here we have another example of carers not being recognised for the work that they do. I appreciate that the number of carers applying for this scheme may be relatively low, but they should not be discriminated against. It is completely unfair that the Department of Housing is failing to recognise the important work that carers carry out. I am urging Minister Simon Coveney and his officials to re-examine the criteria relating to the Tenant Purchase Scheme and to allow some flexibility in exceptional cases”.