Landlords 'holding off' on leasing homes
SOME developers and landlords have been holding off on leasing rental properties to local authorities in the hope of getting a better deal from the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA), a Dail Committee heard yesterday.
There has been a 52pc increase in the number of tenants on private rent supplement in the past two years. The scheme is costing the State more than €500m a year, but attempts to move them into longer-term rental situations have been hampered by a shortage of suitable accommodation being made available, despite thousands of properties lying vacant.
Despite a ready supply of tenants and funds, the Department of the Environment and Local Government has found it difficult to get landlords with vacant properties to rent to them because some were hoping to do better under NAMA, its principal officer Eddie Lewis told the Dail Committee on Social and Family Affairs.
"Some people did expect to do better and maybe held off," he said, noting there may have been some disappointment with the outcome of the NAMA process revealed this week.
Now the department has had to scale back its ambitions of getting everyone on rent supplement for more than 18 months into a more secure arrangement. This is known as the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) and is seen as better-value and more sustainable.
Some 35,000 of the 94,000 people receiving rent supplement have been on it long term, and the department is aiming to transfer 8,000 on to the RAS during 2010.