Monday 14 October 2019

Just 3pc of properties to rent 'fall within State subsidy limits'

Photo: Stock Image
Photo: Stock Image
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

A survey by homeless charity the Simon Communities has found that just 3pc of properties being offered for rent were affordable within State subsidy limits.

The 15th 'Locked Out of the Market' report found just 55 of 1,491 properties were within the standard rent supplement/Housing Assistance Payment (Hap) limits.

The survey was collated from a sample of 16 areas from July 30 to August 1 last.

"The shortage of housing is driving more people into homelessness," said Wayne Stanley, head of policy at the Simon Communities.

"We believe a well-functioning, Government-led cost rental system is a key requirement in solving the housing crisis in Ireland.

"In the interim, low-income families and individuals must be given the chance to find a home.

"In Budget 2020, we're calling for an increase in rent supplement and Hap rates to ensure they are kept in line with market rents."

He said there was a need for an extra 20,000 affordable cost rental homes nationally over the next five years.

The charity said increases to rent supplement and Hap "continue to fall short of market rents, which are an average of €1,391 according to the Daft rental report for Q2 2019".

The report found there were no rental properties available within the limits in Galway city centre, Portlaoise, Co Laois and Limerick city suburbs.

However, a spokesman for the Department of Housing said: "Our data would suggest their [Simon Communities] research results do not match with what is actually happening on the ground.

"This is because Simon is using Daft only as its data source.

"Each week over 330 Hap tenancies are created which would not be possible if the figures outlined in this report stacked up.

"On the LDA (Land Development Agency), the first four sites will deliver over 1,200 homes and over 66pc of those will be social and affordable - well above the 40pc they are required to deliver."

Irish Independent

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