Friday, June 17, 2022

Digital Desk Staff

Figures show there are just 820 homes in Ireland available for rent for those on the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).

Meanwhile, only 182 of those are suitable for single people.

HAP is a form of social housing support provided by all local authorities. HAP means that local authorities can provide housing assistance for households who qualify for social housing support, including many long-term Rent Supplement recipients.

Under the system, people eligible for HAP find their own accommodation within set rent limits, they cannot be discriminated against because they are on the HAP scheme.

Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan compiled figures on available HAP accommodation using Daft.ie.

For single people, there were less than 10 HAP properties available in every county except Dublin.

The capital has 107 HAP properties available for single people, with at least 15 of these made up of purpose-built student accommodation.

Single people

Counties Roscommon, Sligo and Mayo have no properties available for single people who live alone.

Senator Moynihan’s data showed Dublin has a total of 379 properties suitable for families on HAP.

There are just 61 HAP suitable properties in Cork, 18 in Cork city and 43 in the wider county.

There are fewer than 10 properties for rent on HAP in 10 counties; Cavan (8), Donegal (3), Kilkenny (7), Laois (4), Longford (5), Monaghan (4), Offaly (7), Sligo (9), Tipperary (8) and Westmeath (9).

A Social Justice Ireland (SJI) report in May found that for households in receipt of rent subsidies, the poverty rate after rent payments is 59.1 per cent.

Poverty rate

Meanwhile, the poverty rate after housing payments is 50.5 per cent for households in Local Authority accommodation.

Colette Bennett, an economic and social analyst for SJI, commented that Government housing subsidies are contributing to the problem.

“Far from supporting families out of poverty, housing subsidies are so inadequate as to be allowing greater numbers into it,” Ms Bennett said.

“The poverty risk of households in receipt of housing subsidies continues to be the highest of all occupancy types.

“One in five tenants in the private rented sector are subsidised through the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP); that does not include tenants in the Rental Accommodation Scheme or those on Rent Supplement.

“Yet despite huge Government spending on these subsidies, the need for additional rent payments, or ‘top ups’ are driving increases in poverty.

“It is essential that Government increase spending on actually building social homes instead of relying on and subsidising a dysfunctional private rented sector.”

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