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Private rental market a complete shambles- Cllr Sarah Holland

24 April, 2015 - by Sarah Holland

Sinn Féin Cllr Sarah Holland has called for urgent action on the private housing market.

“Landlords are point blank refusing to accept rent allowance or Housing Assistance Payments.

Minister Kelly’s housing strategy relied heavily on the private rental market, but trials of the HAP scheme are showing that landlords are still refusing to accept these payments.

I had one lone parent in my office in tears.  She took a part time job to pay for college courses, so she could provide a better future for her two daughters.

This resulted in her rent allowance being stopped, arrears and an eviction.

She had to move back in with her mam, and shares a room with her brother.

She was added to the HAP scheme on a trial basis, and cannot find a landlord to accept it. It amounts to discrimination.

This woman is being punished for trying to access work and education, and has been cut adrift.

The system here needs urgent reform – Minister Kelly’s housing strategy falls far short of that.  I have asked him what he proposes to do to force landlords to accept Housing Assistance Payments, and await his response.”

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