Leitrim County Council is awaiting clarification on several points following changes in relation to the operation of the tenant purchase scheme which came to effect in Feburary this year.
Cllr Padraig Fallon asked for an update on income levels required to enable a tenant receiving the state pension to buy their council property.
Responding to the query, Director of Services, Housing and Community, Corporate Services, Cultural and Emergency Services, Joseph Gilhooly said that one of the main changes that came into effect on February 1 this year impacted the minimum income required for an applicant to be eligible to apply under the tenant purchase scheme.
This minimum requirement has been revised downward from €15,000 p.a. to €12,500 p.a.
The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage informed Leitrim County Council this change would “ensure persons whose pension is their primary source of income can now apply under the scheme”.
However, Mr Gilhooly said “This statement led to questions concerning the type of pension payment that would be considered and after seeking clarification, Leitrim County Council were advised by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage that a Guidance Document would be prepared and issued to address all related queries.
“Leitrim County Council has contacted the Department in relation to this on a number of occasions and has been advised that the Minister is currently seeking legal advice in relation to the “type” of Social Welfare Payments that can be considered as a primary source of income,” said Mr Gilhooly.
He noted, “Leitrim County Council currently aren’t advancing applications, however a list of names of people who have expressed an interest in the tenant purchase scheme has been compiled and each applicant has been advised that upon receipt of the Guidance Document their eligibility for the scheme will then be determined.”
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