Higher Rent Supplement limits in Carlow will help with rising rents – Deering

29th June, 2016

Fine Gael TD for Carlow, Pat Deering, has welcomed the positive news that higher Rent Supplement limits are being introduced in Carlow to help with rising rents

“Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government Simon Coveney have confirmed today that Cabinet has agreed to increase rent limits under the Rent Supplement and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) schemes.

“Carlow and every county in Ireland have a maximum rent limit, within which Rent Supplement can be paid. The new measure agreed by Cabinet today (Tuesday) means that maximum rent limits will increase in Carlow and in every part of Ireland, with the increase reflecting the pressures on rental properties in each particular location.

Deputy Deering stated “In Carlow there will be an increase of €40.00 per category.

“The new limits mean that people in Carlow who cannot afford the full cost of private rented accommodation, will receive greater assistance from the State from this Friday, July 1st.

“Anyone in Carlow who has entered an informal top-up arrangement with their landlord is advised to contact their Community Welfare Service for assistance, as the Department of Social Protection will regularise these top-ups in most cases.

“This will provide more stability for tenants in Carlow and reduce the danger of families becoming homeless when their rent is increased.

“This Government wants to ensure that our recovering economy works for everyone in Carlow. We aim to achieve this by promoting an enterprise economy, making work pay, investing in public services, ensuring opportunity and a fair go for everyone. We must ensure that everyone in Carlow has a roof over their head.”

Ends

Further Information Contact:

PAT DEERING TD 0879470736

Notes for the Editor

Carlow Revised Rent Supplement Limits

Single Shared = €270

Couple Shared =€290

Single = €440

Couple =€510

Couple/ One parent Family = 1 Child =€570

Couple/ One parent Family = 2 Children = €600

Couple/ One parent Family = 3 Children = €630

Rent Supplement

· There are currently approximately 55,000 customers in receipt of the supplement at a cost of over €267 million in 2016. Rent limits (in place since June 2013) are set at levels that enable eligible households to maintain basic suitable rented accommodation, having regard to the different rental market conditions that prevail in various parts of the State. At this time of constrained supply, the Department of Social Protection continues to implement a targeted, flexible, case-by-case approach where rents exceed limits. This flexible and responsive approach is a key instrument in assisting families to keep their homes and has supported over 8,700 Rent Supplement households through increased rental payments who were at imminent risk of homelessness.

· Approximately 120 increased rental payment cases are presenting weekly where there is an imminent risk of homelessness. The introduction of revised rent limits will regularise the current policy approach and will provide increased transparency.

Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)

· The HAP scheme is being implemented in stages across Ireland and is currently available in 19 local authority areas. More than 10,000 households currently in receipt of housing support under the scheme at a cost to the Exchequer of €48 million in 2016. On the basis of current rates of growth for the scheme, some 16,000 households are likely to be supported by the scheme by the end of 2016 with one third of these coming from households transferring from the Rent Supplement scheme.

· HAP will be available in nine more local authorities by the end of 2016 and in the remaining three Dublin authorities early in 2017, completing full implementation.

· The Homeless Pilot of the Housing Assistance Payment scheme has been operational since February 2015 across the four housing authorities in the Dublin Region, and is being implemented through the Dublin Region Homeless Executive. The pilot is designed to transition qualified households from emergency accommodation into private rented tenancies. The number of households securing accommodation under HAP continues to rise. Levels of support available under the pilot scheme for Homeless Households were increased following Budget 2016 to 50% above the current Rent Supplement levels. This increased level of support has improved the capacity of the pilot, which has been securing, on average, more than 20 tenancies a month since the enhancement, with more than 200 households currently supported by the scheme.