Threshold, the national housing charity, has welcomed the announcement today (28.06.16) of the Government’s measures to increase rent supplement and housing assistance payments across rural and urban areas.
Stephen Large, Dublin Manager of Threshold, said: “We warmly welcome today’s announcement, these substantial increases will work towards alleviating the issues faced by families and households across the country and prevent many from entering homelessness.
“Threshold works day in and day out with people facing serious challenges in the private rented sector and these measures will help to ensure that families right across the country secure accommodation and can afford to remain in their homes.”
Today’s proposals include higher rent limits and payment increases across rural and urban areas, with greater assistance starting from this Friday, 1st July.
There is a maximum rent limit which applies to every county or county sub-district in Ireland. The rent supplement increases announced today range from 15 to 29 per cent including: a 29 per cent average increase in Dublin (outside of Fingal); a 25 per cent average increase in Laois and Roscommon; a 21 per cent average increase in Cork city, Galway city, Leitrim and Longford; a 19 per cent average increase in Kildare, Westmeath and Louth; and a 15 per cent average increase in Cavan and Donegal.
It has also been announced today that the housing assistance payment (HAP) will be increased to match rent supplement increases and will be extended to all areas, giving continued flexibility under the rent supplement scheme.
Stephen Large added: “These measures reflect the fact that rents are rising exponentially and with increased limits, comes increased stability and a lower risk of homelessness. One-fifth of families in Ireland now rent their homes, and Threshold has been calling for some time for reform of the rent supplement scheme, including an increase in rent supplement limits to bring them in line with market rents.
“Through our daily contact with households nationwide, Threshold is well aware of the needs of many vulnerable tenants. Families who are reliant on State payments won’t be able to pay for housing if they do not receive realistic levels of support under the rent supplement and housing assistance payment schemes.
“This Government must do everything in its power to prevent homelessness and today’s announcement represents a step in the right direction to providing a lasting solution for rent supplement tenants.”
Threshold wishes to acknowledge funding received from the Scheme to Support National Organisations 2016-2019 and the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government.