State paid private landlords over €582m under housing schemes in 2019

State paid private landlords over €582m under housing schemes in 2019

The State paid private landlords more than €528 million last year under two social housing schemes.

Nearly €53m was paid on behalf of Dublin City Council.

There are two main schemes for people who have a long-term housing need but have not received a council property – the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).

Most of the rent is normally paid by the State with a tenant paying the balance.

Over 52,500 tenants across the country were on HAP in 2019, compared to 43,400 in 2018.

The State paid landlords over €382m under the scheme last year, up from €277m the previous year.

The government intends to gradually phase out the Rental Accommodation Scheme and replace it with HAP.

But 29 of the 31 local authorities across the country paid landlords more than €145m under the scheme last year.

In 2019, over 4,500 tenants were on either scheme in Dublin City Council’s region, costing the State €53m – up from €40m in 2018.

Other local authorities with high pay-outs to landlords in 2019 include Cork County Council at €34m and Limerick City and Council at €25.5m.

Fianna Fáil's housing spokesman, Darragh O'Brien, says money is being wasted.

"The State has become far too relient over the last three-four years in particular on HAP," said Mr O'Brien.

"If you are looking at subventions to the private rental market it is nearly touching a billion euro a year now.

"Now for a billion euro you could build approximately 5,000 public homes."

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