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Simon Community report shows chasm between HAP and rent prices in Limerick – Quinlivan

17 August, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

A report published by the Simon Community this week gives a stark insight into the housing crisis in Limerick City. The report found that over the period of the study there was only one property available to rent in Limerick City within the Rent Supplement / Housing Assisted Payment limits.

Sinn Féin TD for Limerick City Maurice Quinlivan said:

“This report highlights the major gap that has developed between the levels of Rent Supplement and the Housing Assisted Payment and the rents that are been charged for property. It is becoming near impossible for families to get housing, even with the assistance of these payments.

“Only one property in Limerick City was available within the HAP/Rent Supplement parameters over the period of this study. This house fell under the category of payment for couple/single parent and one child.

“There were no properties available for a single person, couple, or couple with two children within the Rent Supplement or HAP limits.

“Nationally, the report found that 91% of rental properties are unavailable to those in receipt of Rent Supplement/HAP.

“The housing shortage in Limerick is also highlighted in this report. Over the three days of the study, only eleven houses were available to rent in Limerick City Centre, down from thirty-five available at the same time last year.

“The housing crisis is worsening and the state supports currently in place to help people struggling to pay for housing are being exceeded by skyrocketing rents. 

“The fact that Limerick City is not designated a Rent Pressure Zone baffles me, as this measure would ease the ever increasing cost of rent, and limit it to a maximum 4% per annum.  This measure should be brought in immediately to stabilise the cost of housing for potential renters, and give certainty to those in already in rented accommodation.

“Working families are increasing becoming homelessness because they often earn too much to apply for social housing support or too little to either rent privately or buy their own home. In many cases middle income working families cannot afford to save to buy a home.

“The lack and unaffordability of housing continues to escalate under this government. It is clear the private market has failed to deliver adequate numbers of social housing units and affordable housing for those on low and middle incomes, and a new approach is needed.” 

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