Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009

Allocation of dwellings.

22.— (1) This section applies to—

(a) dwellings provided under the Housing Acts 1966 to 2009 or Part V of the Planning and Development Act 2000

(i) of which a housing authority is the owner, or

(ii) of which the housing authority is not the owner and which are provided under a contract or lease between the housing authority and the owner concerned, including rental accommodation availability agreements,


(b) dwellings owned and provided by approved bodies to whom assistance is given under section 6 of the Act of 1992 for the purposes of such provision.

(2) A housing authority may allocate a dwelling under this section to a household in accordance with a scheme made under subsection (3).

(3) A housing authority shall, not later than one year after the coming into operation of this section, in accordance with this section and any regulations made thereunder, make a scheme (in this Act referred to as an “ allocation scheme ”) determining the order of priority to be accorded in the allocation of dwellings to—

(a) households assessed under section 20 as being qualified for social housing support, and

(b) households, in receipt of social housing support, that have applied to the housing authority to transfer to another dwelling or to purchase a dwelling under Part 3 and the housing authority consents to the transfer, or purchase, as the case may be.

(4) The Minister may make regulations providing for the matters to be included in an allocation scheme, including the following:

(a) the manner in which dwellings, or different categories of dwellings, are allocated to households;

(b) the order or priority in accordance with which dwellings are allocated under the allocation scheme;

(c) the conditions relating to refusals by a household of reasonable offers of social housing support offered in accordance with an allocation scheme by reference to the availability of social housing support in the administrative area concerned, the number of offers made to, and refusals made by, a household and the period during which those offers and refusals are made.

(5) Having regard to section 19 (4), a housing authority shall make provision in its allocation scheme for the proportion of dwellings in any part or parts of its administrative area which may be reserved for all or any of the following purposes:

(a) allocation to particular classes of household;

(b) particular forms of tenure;

(c) allocation to households transferring from other forms of social housing support.

(6) An allocation scheme may include conditions subject to which the preference of a household to reside in a particular area or areas may be taken into account in allocating a dwelling to such a household, including, but not necessarily limited to, conditions relating to—

(a) whether the household or any member of it currently resides, or at any time has resided, and for what period, in the area or areas concerned,

(b) the distance of the area or areas from the place of employment of any member of the household,

(c) whether any members of the household are attending any university, college, school or other educational establishment in the area or areas concerned, and

(d) whether any relatives of any member of the household reside in the area or areas concerned.

(7) Notwithstanding the generality of subsection (2), a housing authority may disregard the order of priority given to a household under an allocation scheme where the household is being provided with social housing support—

(a) in a dwelling let to the household under a Chapter 4 tenancy agreement having been assessed under section 20 (3), or

(b) arising from specified exceptional circumstances, including displacement by fire, flood or any other emergency, development, redevelopment or regeneration of an area by the housing authority, or exceptional medical or compassionate grounds.

(8) An allocation scheme may provide that the housing authority shall obtain and have regard to a report from a medical practitioner employed by the Health Service Executive in the allocation of dwellings where priority is claimed on grounds consisting of, or including, exceptional medical grounds.

(9) A housing authority may from time to time review its allocation scheme and, as it considers necessary and appropriate, amend the scheme or make a new scheme.

(10) The making of an allocation scheme, or the amendment to such a scheme, are reserved functions.

(11) The allocation of a dwelling to a household is an executive function.

(12) The manager shall—

(a) prepare and submit to the members of the housing authority not later than 30 April in each year a written report on allocations made under its allocation scheme by specifying the different categories of dwellings and households and the proportions of each such category, by reference to the total number of such allocations in the preceding year, and

(b) provide a copy of the report prepared under paragraph (a) to the Minister, if the Minister requests such a copy.

(13) Notwithstanding the repeal by this Act of section 11 of the Act of 1988, a scheme of priorities made by a housing authority under that section and in force immediately before the coming into operation of this section continues to have effect after such coming into operation and is deemed to have been made under this section until an allocation scheme under this section comes into force.

(14) A housing authority shall make a copy of its allocation scheme available for inspection by members of the public, without charge, on the Internet and at its offices and such other places as it considers appropriate, during normal working hours.

(15) Before making or amending an allocation scheme, a housing authority shall provide a draft of the scheme or amendment to the scheme, as the case may be, to the Minister, who may direct the housing authority to amend the draft scheme or draft amendment, and the housing authority shall comply with any such direction within such period as may be specified by the Minister.

(16) The Minister may, as he or she considers necessary and appropriate, direct a housing authority to amend an allocation scheme, in such manner as he or she may direct, and the housing authority shall comply with any such direction within such period as may be specified by the Minister.

(17) (a) The Minister may issue directions to a housing authority regarding the operation of an allocation scheme and the housing authority shall comply with any such direction in operating the scheme.

(b) Nothing in paragraph (a) shall be construed or operate to enable the Minister to direct the allocation of a dwelling to a specific household.