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93,000 rely on handout to pay rent

MORE than 93,000 people received State assistance in paying their rent last year.

The number of people benefiting from the supplement payment increased by 26pc last year.

New figures released by the Department of Social and Family Affairs show that record numbers of people struggling to meet their monthly payments.



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As a result, thousands are turning to the cash-strapped exchequer for help, many on a long-term basis.

More than 35,000 people or 38pc of those receiving the supplement have been doing so for in excess of 18 months.

This is despite the fact that a Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) is in place to meet the housing needs of people who are receiving the benefit for that length of time.

The idea is the local authorities meet the housing needs of these individuals through a range of approaches including the traditional range of social housing options, the voluntary housing sector and, in particular, RAS.

Under the scheme local authorities draw up contracts with landlords to provide housing for people with a long-term housing need for an agreed term.

The local authority pays the rent directly to the landlord, with the tenant then dealing directly with the council.

Benefits include the fact that residents don't have to pay a deposit.

kdoyle@herald.ie


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