Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has described Minister O’Brien’s changes to the homeless HAP rates for outside of Dublin as ‘disappointing’.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“Today Minister O’Brien made two changes to the Housing Assistance System. He raised the basic rate for single people and he increased the discretionary rate for homeless and at risk of homeless cases outside of Dublin from 20% to 35%.
“While the decision to raise the base rate for single people is welcome, the decision to raise the homeless HAP uplift rate outside of Dublin to 35% is disappointing.
“People in emergency accommodation and at risk of homelessness in Dublin can avail of a 50% uplift. There is no reason why people outside of Dublin should not receive the same level of support. The Homeless HAP uplift rate should be 50% state wide.
“What was missing from the Minister’s statement today was a more fundamental change to reverse the growing over-reliance on rental supports such as HAP, RAS and Rent Supplement.
“There are almost 100,000 households in receipt of rent subsidies. A third of all private rental tenancies are in receipt of HAP, RAS and Rent Supplement. The cost of these subsidies this year is almost €1 billion euro.
“This year, Government plans to increase HAP tenancies by at least 10,000 households. This is because they are not delivering sufficient social housing.
“Minister O’Brien must increase his targets for social housing delivery and outline a plan to reduce the number of households in insecure and expensive subsidised private rental accommodation.
“Minister O’Brien must also ensure that Councils are free to purchase private rental properties with HAP, RAS and Rent Supplement tenants in situ with notices to quit and who are at risk of homelessness.”