Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014
Part 4 and amendment of Act of 2009
49. (1) Section 19 of the Act of 2009 is amended in subsection (2) by inserting the following after paragraph (b):
“(bb) providing housing assistance under Part 4 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014;”.
(2) Section 20 of the Act of 2009 is amended—
(a) in subsection (2) by substituting the following for paragraph (b):
“(b) an appropriate form of such support for that household.”,
(b) by substituting the following for subsection (3):
“(3) A housing authority may carry out a social housing assessment in respect of a household where a household member is in receipt of a supplement under section 198(3) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 towards the amount of rent payable in respect of his or her residence.”,
(c) in paragraph (f) of subsection (4) by substituting “an appropriate form” for “the most appropriate form”,
(d) in paragraph (g) of subsection (4) by inserting “member” after “household”,
(e) by inserting the following after subsection (4):
“(4A) (a) Where, due to the circumstances of a particular case, a housing authority is unable to establish for the time being whether alternative accommodation is available to a household that would meet the household’s housing need, the authority may, subject to the other provisions of this section, determine that the household is qualified for the forms of social housing support specified in paragraphs (bb) and (d) of section 19(2) of the Act of 2009.
(b) A determination under paragraph (a) shall be reviewed by the housing authority at intervals prescribed for the purposes of this section.
(c) A household to which paragraph (a) relates that is in receipt of a form of social housing support referred to in that paragraph is not eligible to apply for a transfer to a form of such support not referred to in paragraph (a) but, if a housing authority subsequently determines that alternative accommodation is not available to the household that would meet its housing need, then the length of time that the household was in receipt of that form of social housing support shall be reckonable, in accordance with the allocation scheme of the housing authority, for the purposes of an application by the household for a transfer to another form of social housing support.”,
(f) by inserting the following after subsection (5):
“(5A) (a) Subject to paragraph (b), a household in receipt of social housing support shall cease to be eligible for such support where—
(i) in the preceding 3 years, the household or a household member was in arrears of rent, rent contributions, charges, fees or any other moneys due and owing to a housing authority or an approved body for an accumulated period of 12 weeks or more in respect of a dwelling or site to which Chapter 3 of Part 2 of the Act of 2009 relate, and
(ii) the household or the member concerned has not entered into rescheduling arrangements with the housing authority or approved body concerned for the payment of such arrears, or, having entered into such arrangements, has not, in the opinion of the authority or body, substantially complied with their terms.
(b) The failure of a household or household member to substantially comply with the terms of rescheduling arrangements shall be disregarded in any case where the housing authority or approved body concerned is satisfied that the failure was due to circumstances outside the control of such household or household member.
(5B) (a) Where a qualified household that is entered on the record of qualified households maintained by a housing authority refuses a prescribed number of reasonable offers of a specified form of social housing support in any continuous period that is prescribed, then—
(i) the household shall be ineligible for social housing support for a prescribed period after the last refusal during the said continuous period, and
(ii) the prescribed period of ineligibility shall not subsequently be reckonable in any way for the purposes of determining the relative priority of that household for social housing support.
(b) In making an offer of housing social support referred to in paragraph (a), a housing authority may, unless it has been prescribed for the purpose of the paragraph concerned, specify a period or date within which the offer has to be accepted before it lapses and if the offer lapses it shall be deemed to be a refusal for the purposes of that subsection.
(c) In this subsection ‘specified form of social housing support’ means social housing support of a kind referred to in paragraph (a), (b) or (d) of section 19(2).”,
(g) by substituting the following for subsection (10):
“(10) A housing authority shall not be required to carry out a social housing assessment in respect of a household in receipt of social housing support that is seeking to transfer to, or to avail of, another form of social housing support.”
(3) Section 31 of the Act of 2009 is amended by substituting the following for subsection (2):
“(2) (a) In this section references to rent include a rent contribution payable by a tenant under a Chapter 4 tenancy agreement.
(b) In this section, other than subsection (6)(h), references to rent include a rent contribution payable under section 44 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 by a tenant who is a member of a qualified household within the meaning of section 35 of that Act.”
(4) Section 32 of the Act of 2009 is amended—
(a) in subsection (1) by deleting “and” where it last occurs in paragraph (b) and by inserting the following after paragraph (b):
“(ba) a household that has been determined by a housing authority to be qualified for social housing support and is seeking housing assistance in respect of a particular dwelling, and”,
(b) in paragraph (b) of subsection (2), by substituting “paragraph (a), (b) or (ba) of subsection (1) ” for “subsection (1)(a) or (b) ”, and
(c) by inserting the following subsection after subsection (5):
“(5A) Without prejudice to subsection (2), for the purpose of enabling a housing authority to consider a request from a qualified household for housing assistance under Part 4 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 in respect of a particular dwelling, the Minister may make regulations providing for—
(a) the information and particulars to be provided by the household in respect of the dwelling, the landlord involved and, in relevant cases, the person or person with whom the household proposes to reside in the dwelling, and the verification of such information and particulars,
(b) the furnishing of such additional information as the authority considers appropriate for the purposes of considering the request,
(c) the period within which the information and particulars including any additional information, shall be provided by the household concerned, and
(d) such other matters as the Minister considers necessary and appropriate.”