To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government his plans to fund a rural resettlement scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
The Government's Action Plan for Rural Development: Realising our Potential, has a clear objective of working across Government Departments to deliver a co-ordinated group of strategies and actions to ensure the success of vibrant rural communities across Ireland. My Department works closely with the Department of Rural and Community Development on rural housing issues.
In relation to social housing, it is already possible for households to move and relocate between local authority areas, including relocating from an urban to a rural location, under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Scheme.
Under the Social Housing Assessment Regulations 2011, a household may apply to one housing authority only for social housing support, at a time. Currently it is not possible for a household on the waiting list of one housing authority to transfer its application to another authority and to carry the time spent on the previous list.
A commitment has been given to examine the possibility of introducing a “housing passport”. The basic premise is that households in receipt of, or qualified for, social housing support in one local authority area could potentially transfer to, or be allocated, social housing in another local authority area. My Department is currently developing proposals in relation to this matter, details of which will be outlined when the work involved is complete
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