Sinn Féin spokesperson on Housing, Eoin Ó Broin TD, has commented on the findings of the latest study by the homeless charity the Simon Communities.
The August 2021 Locked Out of the Market Report shows that there was just 63 properties available to rent for households receiving the standard Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) rate.
Teachta Ó Broin said:
“The Simon Communities’ August 2021 Locked Out of the Market Report ‘ looked at the cost of renting in 16 locations across state.
“The report found that out of 2,208 properties available to rent at any price, just 63 of those properties were available to rent within the standard HAP rates.
“In nine of the 16 areas, there were no properties available to rent in any category within standard or discretionary Rent Supplement/Housing Assistance Payment HAP limits and there were no properties to rent for a single person within the standard limits in any of the 16 locations.
“The results of the study once again highlight how single people are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to securing a home to rent. The government’s dependence on private rented sector subsidised accommodation results in people being pushed into homelessness.
“Increasing the supply of real social housing units is the only way to provide secure housing and at the same time relieve pressure on the private rented sector.
“The over dependence on HAP is not only bad for the tenant it is also poor value for money for the exchequer. The rising costs of all rent subsidies, including HAP rent supplement, RAS and long-term leases will cost the taxpayer in excess of €1 billion in 2021.
“We need to see a significant increase in the real social housing targets in the Minister’s long-awaited Housing for All plan. This must be accompanied by a real plan for the private rented sector including a three year ban on rent increases and substantial investment in cost rental homes.
“The Minister for Housing must also commission a short, time limited review of all rental subsidies including HAP by the Housing Agency.”