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Simon Communities report highlights need for government to move away from private sector solutions to public housing crisis – Cullinane

16 August, 2018 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin TD David Cullinane has commented on the findings of the latest study by the homeless charity the Simon Communities.

The report shows that just 8% of rental properties surveyed across 11 areas are priced within the reach of households receiving Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rent Supplement.

The Waterford TD said:

“The Simon Communities’ ‘Locked Out of the Market XI’ looked at the cost of renting in eleven locations across state.

“The report found that, out of 530 properties available to rent, 489 of these were above the HAP/Rent Supplement limits with just 41 available within the 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 report also highlighted a growing area of concern that no properties were available in Galway City Centre, Limerick City Centre, or Portlaoise across all four categories.

“Furthermore, just one property was available across all categories in Athlone, Dublin City Centre, North Kildare, Sligo Town, and Waterford City Centre. 

“This is the lowest recorded point in a downwards trend that has been declining since Rent Supplement and HAP limits were increased in July 2016.

“This report further highlights how private rented sector government subsidised accommodation is out of reach for a lot of citizens and it is pushing people into homelessness.

“Increasing the supply of real social housing units is the only way to adequately tackle this crisis. The government must at least double capital expenditure in social and affordable housing in Budget 2019.

“This must be coupled with the introduction of real rent certainty and security of tenure.” 

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