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Govt to spend €3bn in rent subsidies as numbers to rise by 20% by 2021 - Eoin Ó Broin TD

6 November, 2017 - by Eoin Ó Broin TD

Sinn Féin housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has said that “the Government will spend more than €3bn on rent subsidies over the next five years as the number of households on rent subsidy schemes set to rise to 105,560 by 2021”. 

Deputy Ó Broin said:

“Rent subsidies are an important feature of our housing system. Traditionally they assisted low income households in the private rental sector while they were waiting for social housing.

“The Governments housing plan represents a significant shift away from this model and will see over 105,000 households permanently living in subsidised private rented accommodation.

“'Rebuilding Ireland' plans to transfer all long term Rent Supplement claimants onto the Housing Assistance Payment by 2020. One of the consequences of this shift is that these households will be removed from their Local Authority’s primary housing list.

“In addition to this a growing number of new housing applicants will also be moved onto the Housing Assistance Payment and the Rental Accommodation Scheme. By 2021 over 105,000 households will be be in these schemes. This is a 20% increase in the total numbers on rent subsidy schemes.

“The annual cost of these subsidies will rise to €714m in 2021. This is an increase of almost 40% on the 2015 cost of €448m, the year before the current housing plan was launched. In total Government will spend more than €3bn in rent subsidies between 2017 and 2021.

“The Governments housing plan represents a very significant shift away from the direct provision of social housing and towards a policy of indefinitely subsidising social housing tenants in private rental accommodation. 

“This is bad for tenants as it deprives them of real security of tenure, it is bad for communities as it promotes transience, and it is bad for the taxpayer as in the long term it is much more expensive than the provision of real social housing.

"This shift from bricks to benefits has been tried and has failed in the U.S. and Britain. There is no reason to think Ireland will be any different.”


Note: Attached above is a briefing note on Government subsidies in the private rented sector

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