Concerns expressed over viability of Housing Assistance Payments in Dundalk

Housing

Donard McCabe

Reporter:

Donard McCabe

Concerns expressed over viability of Housing Assistance Payments in Dundalk

Concerns expressed over viability of Housing Assistance Payments in Dundalk

The Simon Community Report VIII which was released this week, shows significant gaps between HAP rent limits and the actual rental prices in the Dundalk area.

The report looks at the current state of Ireland’s rental market and its effects on the country’s most vulnerable people. This study tracks the gap between rising market rents and the Rent Supplement / Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) limits.

The study was conducted over three consecutive days – 1st, 2nd and 3rd of August 2017.

Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams, expressed his concerns at the report which shows the significant difficulties faced by people trying to access housing supports through the HAP scheme in the Dundalk area.

Deputy Adams said:

'The Simon Community tracked the number of available properties to rent within HAP limits in eleven areas including Dundalk.

'Only 34 properties were found to be available, which rings true to ongoing difficulties faced by constituents in the area battling to find homes .

'This is all within a rental market that has seen average increases of 18% in Louth.

'We also see a worrying trend impacting hugely on single persons.

'An average rent in Dundalk for a one bed property was found to be 13% higher than the HAP limits for single persons, and no available properties were found.

'It is time for this government to take an honest look at their failing housing strategy.

'This report and its findings raise an important question around the viability of HAP as a primary vehicle to deliver social housing.'