Gap between HAP/Rent supplement rates shows government faith in private rented sector housing solutions misplaced - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin's spokesperson for Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD ,has commented on the findings of the latest study by the homeless charity the Simon Communities.
The report shows that just 7% of rental properties surveyed across 11 areas are priced within the reach of households receiving Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rent Supplement.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“The Simon Communities' 'Locked Out of the Market X' looked at the cost of renting in eleven locations across state.
"The study found that out of 532 properties available to rent , 493 of these were above the HAP/Rent Supplement limits with just 39 available within the limits of the four categories of household within the study, which are singles, couples, couple/one parent one child and couple/one parent and two children.
"The results of the survey highlighted how single people and couples are at a distinct disadvantage with only three properties across the eleven locations available to rent falling within HAP/ rent supplement limits for a single person and only three available for couples.
“The report also indicates that that Athlone, Galway City Centre, Portlaoise and Limerick City had no available properties for rent across all categories. A record low.
“Private rented sector subsidised accommodation is out of reach for a lot of citizens and it is pushing people into homelessness.
“Government policy is wedded to the idea that HAP is an ideal housing solution for those in social housing need. It is not. It offers no security of tenure to tenants and is not a sustainable social housing solution.
“Social housing needs are met by delivering real council homes owned by local authorities or Approved Housing Bodies.
“Increasing the supply of real social housing units is the only way to adequately tackle this crisis. Unfortunately this is taking far too long.
“A short term solution that would provide some relief those in the private rented sector is real rent certainty and sufficient security of tenure.”