Give up your job or don’t claim the family income supplement. These are the choices some people in Offaly are facing in order to get on the Offaly County Council Housing Wating List.
At yesterday’s (Monday, June 11) Tullamore Area Committee meeting Cllr Dervill Dolan said some barely over the income threshold are finding themselves in a terrible situation.
“The income level is too low,” said Cllr Dolan, stating that a family with a total income of €500 do not qualify.
“This encourages people not to work,” he said adding that some are living “in deplorable conditions” but are still over the threshold.
“We can offer them no assistance. We should write to the Department saying there should be discretion where there are hard situations,” added Cllr Dolan.
Dermot Mahon, Housing Officer with Offaly County Council said he regularly comes across cases where people have to either give up their jobs or do not claim an income supplement in order to qualify for the list. He asked though “where do you stop when you apply discretion?”
Meanwhile Offaly County Council is to introduce a mortgage to rent scheme.
The scheme aims to help those in danger of losing their homes by transferring the title from private ownership into a rental scheme with the council or a housing association overseeing it.
It would mean people facing repossession would be able to remain in their homes as tenants either of Offaly County Council or a housing association.
“Lots of people are facing losing their house and would be happy to stay there and pay rent. They would go on a housing list. It would be cost effective,” said Chairperson Molly Buckley.
Mr Mahon also advised that the Tenant Purchase Scheme was being wound down and those wishing to purchase their homes could no longer do so after December 31 of this year.