Is it a waste of time?
Only two houses were delivered under the Repair and Lease Scheme in Carlow over three years, it has been revealed.
Figures provided by the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, with regard to the Repair and Lease Scheme delivery from 2017 to Quarter 1 2019, have shown that just two houses were delivered in Carlow under the scheme.
The RLS was developed to assist private property owners and local authorities or Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) to harness the accommodation potential that exists in certain vacant dwellings across Ireland.
In a series of Parliamentary Questions, TDs asked about the progress being made in securing properties under the scheme in each local authority.
Minister Murphy said: "The RLS is targeted at owners of vacant dwellings, who cannot afford or access the funding needed to bring their dwellings up to the required standard for rental property.
"Subject to the suitability of the dwelling for social housing, and the agreement of the property owner, the cost of the necessary repairs will be met upfront by the local authority or an approved housing body (AHB).
"A total of €38m has been made available for the scheme in 2019 and local authorities and AHBs are continuing to implement the scheme locally."
Provisional data for the RLS indicate that up to end Q1 2019, a total of 1,399 applications for the scheme had been received nationally; 102 homes had been brought back into use and tenanted and 147 agreements to lease had been signed.
The Minister added: "In early 2018, I introduced a number of enhancements to the scheme.
"These key changes to the scheme includes:
- A reduction in the minimum lease term required from 10 to 5 years;
- Extension of the scheme to allow payment of 92% of market rent (rather than 80% or 85%) to property owners who wish to take on landlord responsibilities;
- The allocation of additional funding, in excess of the €40,000 limit and up to €50,000, where the property is a former bedsit being brought into compliance with the Standards for Rented Houses
- The application of the scheme to unfinished properties in certain circumstances; and
- Permitting the maximum of €40,000 for capital works per property to be spread across multiple properties."