Rent subsidy not fit for purpose – Crowe
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin South West has strongly criticised the rent allowance subsidy as being not fit for purpose. Deputy Crowe was responding to a Rented Accommodation Survey carried out by his constituency office and using available rented accommodation on Daft.ie which showed a chronic shortage of properties accepting rent allowance in the Dublin South West Constituency.
Deputy Seán Crowe said:
“In recent years there have been a huge increase in the numbers of families and individuals calling in to our constituency office in Tallaght with housing problems. This survey, published today proves that the situation has deteriorated yet again.
“The survey, which included 125 rented properties from areas including Rathcoole, Rathfarnham, Saggart, Tallaght, Templeogue and Walkinstown, has shown that only one property was being rented at the Social Welfare Threshold for Rent Supplement. This is an unacceptable situation, which highlights clearly that conditions for renters are getting progressively worse.
“The fiction that the current rent supplement allowance is delivering for hard pressed families and individuals trapped in this system is stripped bare by these new figures. It’s plain for anyone to see that the current allowance is not fit for purpose.
“Only three of the properties said that they would accept rent supplement. While 25% of properties surveyed did not say explicitly whether rent supplement was acceptable, rents were so far above the threshold, it is obvious to anyone on Social Welfare that rent supplement were beyond their means..
“72% of properties state point blank that they will not accept rent supplement. This is a whopping ten percent higher than last year.
This survey of Dublin South West is just another example that the rent system is not working for families and individuals who are looking for a roof over their heads, a place to call their home
“The government needs to prioritise fair rent controls to tackle rising rents. In recent years, and in Dublin especially, rent has risen dramatically, often above the basic levels of affordability. This also puts more and more people at risk from losing their homes.
“The government has to put together a major investment into building social housing. We have heard a lot of noise about a housing strategy, but the promised an extra 36 million annually over the next three years will have real impact on 90,000 plus people on housing lists across the state
“One short term solution could entail control prices and a strategy to build more houses as soon as possible. Only a combination of these measures will ensure that people on social welfare are supported in finding a home, and families and individuals have greater protection against the real threat of losing theirs.”
Rented Accommodation Survey from Daft.ie on 21 January 2015 For Dublin South West Constituency
Areas in Dublin South West with properties to rent: Ballycullen, Brittas, City West, Kilnamanagh, Kiltipper, Knocklyon, Perrystown, Rathcoole, Rathfarnham, Saggart, Tallaght, Templeogue, Terenure, Walkinstown
125 Rented properties surveyed
5 Bedroom Properties: 2
4 Bedroom Properties: 15
3 Bedroom Properties: 42
2 Bedroom Properties: 45
1 Bedroom Properties: 20
Studio Properties: 1
Rent Supplement Accepted: 3
Rent Supplement Not Accepted: 90
Rent Supplement Not Specified: 32*
Properties being rented above the Social Welfare Threshold for Rent Supplement: 124
Properties being rented below/or at the Social Welfare Threshold for Rent Supplement: 1
*In a lot of cases where rent supplement is not specified, the properties may be well over the threshold allowed by the Department of Social Protection. Callers to the office, would be well aware that they would be wasting their time ringing about properties well over the rent supplement threshold. Also more and more ads are specifying that properties would suit ‘professionals’ again, callers to the office have stated that that’s just another term for not accepting rent allowance.