Latest Kildare News: Local TD calls on Approved Housing Bodies to engage with tenants
Approved Housing Bodies must engage with Tenants – Patricia Ryan TD
Sinn Féin TD for South Kildare, Patricia Ryan, has called on approved housing bodies (AHB’s) to engage with their tenants to resolve an ongoing dispute. The particular dispute arises over the nature of the tenancy and any right to purchase or own the property.
“I have met with residents of Millstream in Monasterevin, Oakland Grove in Kildare Town and Fen Grove in Newbridge since being elected last February. They are all of the opinion that they were promised that they could own their own homes after varying terms and I am calling on the Approved Housing Bodies to engage with the residents.
My colleague Cllr Noel Connolly brought a joint motion to Council with Cllr Cris Pender that they write to the Minister for Housing, asking him to meet with residents in Fen Grove, one of the estates involved. Both the Minister and the regulator of AHB’s have refused to meet with the residents.
I have asked a number of Parliamentary Questions and in his answer to the latest, the Minister has clarified that AHB’s can sell the properties if the funding that they were allocated to build the homes has been repaid. I have asked the residents to write to the AHB’s to clarify if the initial funding or grant that they received to build the homes has been repaid. If this is the case, there is no reason why there can’t be discussions relating to the sale of the properties.
I am very aware that there are similar issues in other estates throughout South Kildare. It is very distressing for the residents who have told me that they feel that their right to own their home has been taken from them. All they want is to be able to own their home, and to secure it for future generations. It is not too much to ask that the Approved Housing Bodies would meet with residents to discuss this.”
Parliamentary Question and Answer below:
For Written Answer on : 06/07/2021
Question Number(s): 241 Question Reference(s): 36275/21
Department: Housing, Local Government and Heritage
Asked by: Patricia Ryan T.D.
To ask the Minister for Housing; Local Government and Heritage if there are restrictions on approved housing bodies who wish to sell homes owned by them for full, partial or nominal value to gift or otherwise transfer ownership of these homes to tenants; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) are independent not-for-profit organisations which operate in accordance with their Memorandum and Articles of Association.
If a property is owned outright by an AHB and is not subject to public funding, the AHB may choose to sell that property, once this is allowed for in their constitution.
It should be noted that AHBs must have as their primary objectives the relief of housing needs and the provision and management of housing included within their memorandum of association or registered rules, as the case may be. The vast majority of AHBs are registered charities and, as such, they must also comply with the provisions of the Charities Acts in relation to the sale of charitable assets.