Cllr Joanna Byrne: online system needed for tenants to register for Mutual Swaps / Transfers

Sinn Féin Councillor Joanna Byrne is proposing that Louth County Council join an online system, currently in operation by other Local Authorities, to facilitate tenants who wish to transfer from their current home.

Cllr Byrne who has recently been highlighting the growing issue of Louth County Council’s inability to facilitate the vast majority of requests from tenants who have been approved onto the Local Authorities Housing Transfer List said that “as of July, LCC have completed 7 Transfers to date this year out of the 239 requests” and she now wants the Council to follow Dublin and Cork City Councils to join a pilot scheme on Homeswapper.ie.

“This online system allows tenants to register their details, size of property approved for, area of interest and then the system does the work and matches mutual tenants. The local authority has a role to play in overseeing the finalisation of the transfer, as they would normally.”

Cllr Joanna Byrne

Speaking on this at July’s County Council meeting Cllr Byrne said: “Louth has a very stringent policy of approving people onto the Transfer List, some of these are due to change in family sizes but others need to have legitimate reasons to be successful in their applications so to me anybody that is approved has a genuine case for moving. People are languishing on our Transfer Lists for years with no indication of timelines as to when their wait may end.

“I am aware of the financial complexities in transfers and of limited funds but as I’ve said before on numerous occasions, this issue is not going away and is only going to increase. This online system could be the answer.”

Cllr Byrne’s suggestion was well received by the other elected members and received support from various Parties throughout the chamber and she was commended for bringing forward such a proposal.

Director of Services for Housing Paddy Donnelly responded by agreeing to speak to his team and they would explore this possibility but added that it would depend on resources and the capacity of the Housing Team to oversee another system.

However, Cllr Byrne is confident that this is a suitable solution for all involved, “it takes pressure off both the tenants and the local authority alike so this has to be pursued.”