Rent cap uprooting families – Ó Snodaigh
Supporting today’s protest against the cuts to rent supplement Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Social Protection Aengus Ó Snodaigh called on Minister Burton to stop uprooting families and to achieve savings by negotiating directly with landlord representatives.
Ó Snodaigh said;
“The government's decision to cut rent supplement and force vulnerable tenants into often unwinnable negotiations under threat of homelessness is callous in the extreme. More and more families are being issued letters by the department effectively forcing them to uproot each week.
“We are fast approaching September and many families do not know where there children will be going to school because there are no properties available at the new rent caps in the locality in which they have been living to date. The department should negotiate directly with landlords to achieve savings in the rent supplement spend and ultimately the government needs to provide more social housing.
“As a bulk rent payer the department is in a much stronger position to negotiate rents downwards than are individual tenants with nowhere to go. The government is in blind denial as to the hardship this is causing. I have debated this issue with the minister and the Tánaiste. The government falsely claims that no one is being made homeless by the rent cap change. But I am aware of cases where families have been added to the local authority homeless list as a direct consequence of this rent cut.”