Simon Report on HAP/Rent supplement rates 'deeply worrying' – Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin TD for Louth, Gerry Adams has described the latest study by the homeless charity the Simon Communities on the availability of property for those on Rent Supplement and Housing Assistance Payment as “deeply worrying and evidence of a failure of government to get to grips with the housing crisis.”
One of the eleven areas surveyed across the state was Dundalk. The report shows that just 7% of rental properties in the 11 areas are priced within the reach of households receiving HAP and Rent Supplement.
Teachta Adams said:
“The Simon Communities ‘Locked Out of the Market X’ looked at the cost of renting in eleven locations across state. It found that just 39 properties out of 532 were within the rent limits of the four categories of household within the study, which are singles, couples, couple/one parent one child and couple/one parent and two children.
"The survey also reveals how single people and couples are disadvantaged. The Simon report found that only three properties in the 11 surveyed fell within the HAP/rent supplement limits for a single person and only three available for couples.
"The situation in Dundalk was similar to other areas. During the three day study period last month there were just 31 properties available to rent in Dundalk. This is down two on the same period last year. Of these only 17 properties were available to rent within the RS/HAP limits. This is a drop of 9 properties since March 2017.
"Of particular concern is the fact that there were no properties to rent within RS/HAP limits for a single person. Nor were there any properties to rent for a couple during this period.
"The report revealed that there were only 6 properties available to rent within RS/HAP limits for a couple/one parent and one child - a drop of 4 properties since last November.
"The average rent for a one-bedroom property was 13% more than RS/HAP limit for a single person. The report also states that rents increased in Co. Louth by an average of 14.1% last year.
"The reality is that private rented sector subsidised accommodation is out of reach for a lot of citizens and this is pushing more and more people into homelessness.
"Current government policy relies on a belief that HAP is the solution for those in social housing need. Clearly it is not, and it offers no security of tenure to tenants and is not a sustainable social housing solution.”
Gerry Adams concluded:
“Sinn Féin believes that only by building substantial numbers of affordable homes and social housing can the current crisis in housing be effectively resolved. In the short term some relief for those in the private rented sector would be the provision of real rent certainty and sufficient security of tenure.”
Note to Editor:
The Simon report summarises the results of a snapshot study undertaken over three consecutive days in February 2018 (13th, 14th, and 15th) to track the number of properties available to rent within the Department of Social Protection Rent Supplement (RS) limits and Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (DHPLG) Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) limits.
Details were gathered from Daft.ie for the following areas: Cork City Centre, Dublin City Centre, Galway City Centre, Limerick City Centre, Portlaoise, North Kildare, Athlone, Sligo Town, Dundalk, Leitrim, and Waterford City Centre. This is the tenth snapshot study of this kind and compares the findings to the previous snapshot exercise undertaken in November 2017 and where appropriate figures from the corresponding study in March 2017.
The four categories examined are as follows:
o Single person;
o Couple/One Parent and One Child;
o Couple/One Parent and Two Children.