Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe believes the reduction of rent allowances by the Department of Social Protection is forcing tenants to break contracts with landlords leading to the loss of thousands of Euro in rental deposits.
It emerged this week that over €30 million in non returned deposits is missing. Deputy Crowe has called for an investigation to be carried out as matter of urgency.
Deputy Crowe said: “An estimated 98,000 people are in receipt of Rent Allowance in Ireland, including those on lone parents, low income families and the elderly.
“The decision by the government to cut the rent supplement by €22bn has resulted in serious difficulties forcing many tenants to break their rental contracts with landlords.
“Traditionally, some deposits were paid by loans from family or friends or even by groups like the St Vincent De Paul or the state.
With this avenue closed some are now turning to illegal moneylenders.
“The news this week of an expected loss of an estimated €30 million in unreturned rental deposits is an even more bizarre element that has been added to the housing rental debate.
“The departments of Social Protection and Finance are not even asking where over €30 million of taxpayers’ money has gone. This is scandal that needs urgent and detailed investigation.
"As a member of the Dáil Committee that covers Social Protection I will call for an overhaul of the current system and assurances that taxpayers hard-earned money is accounted for adequately and that tenants are protected from losing deposits and finding themselves unable to seek alternative accommodation as a result.”