Threshold, the national housing organisation, has said that any reduction in the level of Rent Supplement payment should be fairly directed and should not put people at risk of homelessness.
According to Aideen Hayden, Chairperson of Threshold, “it is not clear where exactly the axe will fall in this budget but, over time, those who are dependent on social welfare will suffer.
“Specifically, in relation to Rent Supplement, Threshold does recognise that rents have fallen. However, in high-demand areas – where you are most likely to find bedsits – rents have remained high. An across-the- board reduction in Rent Supplement would have the effect of squeezing some of the most vulnerable out of the rental market completely and, ultimately, they will be at risk of homelessness.”
Threshold also expressed concern over the abolition of the Christmas ‘bonus’ payment, as each year, following Christmas, the number of evictions due to non-payment of rent increases. The organizations said that the withdrawal of this payment will fuel the problem.
“There is a realisation that everyone has to take some pain, but high levels of deprivation and poverty should not become acceptable outcomes of any solution to the economic crisis,” said Ms Hayden.