Simon Communities of Ireland call for rent supplement increase

Simon Communities of Ireland call for rent supplement increase

95% of advertised rental properties are out of reach of people receiving rent supplement.

That is the finding of a new report by the Simon Communities of Ireland, which is repeating its call for the government to increase the payment.

It comes as the Environment Minister Alan Kelly is to bring proposed schemes on affordable rent and social housing before the Cabinet this morning.

Kelly's plans would provide support for low income workers and construction companies.

Under one scheme the government would pay 30% of the rent for low earners.

To qualify people would have to be spending 30% of their net income on rent, but not be eligible for social housing.

Meanwhile, a plan aimed at getting more investment in social housing would see the government guarantee up to 90% of the income stream from the schemes.

Minister Kelly has said he wants to provide a healthy mix of social housing, affordable rental accommodation and private housing.

Niamh Randall of the Simon Communities has said there has been a major drop in properties that are affordable for people getting rent assistance.

“There was 746 properties available to rent, now that’s gone done 13% since August and 35% since May,” said Randall.

“But what was most worrying was the gap between market rents and rent supplement and HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) payments.

“There was only 4.5% of the total that fell within these limits. That’s down 47% since August 2015, but it’s actually down a shocking 75% from May 2015.”


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