Threshold responds to over 12,000 queries in Q4 2023, Impact Report shows
- Threshold advisors supported 8,242 households, including 10,870 adults and 7,259 children in Q4 2023
- 909 households were prevented from entering homelessness during this period
- The Tenant-in-Situ Scheme was pivotal in securing stable homes for families facing eviction
30 January 2024: Advisors in the national housing charity Threshold supported 18,129 individuals in Q4 2023. The charity’s Q4 Impact Report highlights the consistent support that Threshold has provided to renters year on year, having supported 18,608 individuals in Q4 2022.
The latest report from Threshold shows that advisors responded to over 12,000 queries, answering 9,956 calls and responding to over 1,500 webchats from October to December last. Some advisors also worked throughout the Christmas period, responding to over 130 queries to help ensure the best possible outcome for private renters.
Between October and December 2023, Threshold prevented a total of 909 households from entering homelessness. This meant that over 1,200 adults and 929 children could stay in their homes or were supported by Threshold to secure alternative housing.
However, as was the case throughout the year, tenants seeking support on tenancy terminations remains the dominant query as landlords continue to sell their properties. With more landlords leaving the market than entering it, there are fewer properties available to rent, which adds to the current challenges facing the rental sector. This is where schemes such as the Tenant-in-Situ are vital in providing long-term secure homes.
Speaking on the report, Threshold’s National Advocacy Manager, Ann-Marie O’Reilly stated:
“The latest Impact Report underscores the important role that Threshold plays in providing support to private renters across Ireland and ensuring that they access the supports that are available to them. While we continue to see a rise in the number of households requiring our services, it is extremely positive and encouraging to see renters seeking advice on their rights and taking action.”
The Tenant-in-Situ scheme has proven to be an effective support for renters. This scheme, which allows local authorities to buy homes from landlords who are planning to evict the tenant for the purposes of selling the home and whose tenants are eligible for social housing, is designed to provide long-term security to those renters.
Threshold has recommended that in 2024 the State set an ambitious goal of buying at least half of the suitable rental properties put on the market, in which tenants are subject to a notice of termination. The charity believes this move would keep many households out of homelessness, increase the State’s public housing stock and improve the quality of life and outcomes for thousands of renters.
O’Reilly has welcomed the progress of the Tenant-in-Situ scheme, stating:
“As we review our work in the last quarter of 2023, the Tenant-in-Situ scheme stands out as a practical solution for renters facing eviction. This initiative has proven effective in turning a potential personal crisis into a stable living situation for many, providing the sense of security that we all seek. The Tenant-in-Situ scheme is a valuable tool in preventing homelessness, and we at Threshold support its continued expansion as a key component of future housing strategies”.
Case Study: Aiden and Hazel’s Experience
Aiden and Hazel had been renting their home for 15 years, raising two children there. The couple would have loved to buy the home. They had been in a good financial position before the outbreak of Covid-19 and were saving to buy a place of their own. Unfortunately, both Aiden and Hazel work in sectors that were negatively impacted by the Covid-19 health measures and much of their savings were used to pay rent and cover bills.
In April 2023, Aiden and Hazel received their Notice of Termination (NoT) from their landlord, who planned to sell the house as they were retiring. Unfortunately, having used much of their savings to cover bills, the couple were no longer able to buy the house as they did not have a deposit or the income to secure a large enough mortgage.
The fear of an unknown future caused them much anxiety after receiving the NoT and there were many sleepless nights for Aiden and Hazel. They felt that their living circumstances were completely out of their control. They rang Threshold to seek support.
Threshold advised the couple on the Tenant-in-Situ scheme. The landlord was open to selling the house to the local authority so that Aiden and Hazel’s family could remain living in a place they had made their home. A Threshold advisor liaised with the family and the local authority to ensure all the necessary paperwork was provided for the sale to proceed. The landlord accepted the offer from the local authority with Aiden and Hazel receiving the news that the sale had gone through in December, four days after the rental termination date, allowing them to stay in their home for Christmas.
With their tenancy now protected through the Tenant-in-Situ scheme, Aiden and Hazel have a home in which they feel secure again.
Threshold’s free helpline is open Monday to Friday, 9am- 9pm at 1800 454 454, with webchat at www.threshold.ie/advice/help for any renter in need of advice or support.
Read Threshold’s 2023 Q4 Impact Report here (PDF).