Revealed: Number of people on rent supplement in Kilkenny

The scheme is supporting some 36,200 recipients at a cost of €253 million nationwide this year

Darren Hassett

Reporter:

Darren Hassett

Email:

darren.hassett@kilkennypeople.ie

Rent.

File photo

Some 205 people in Kilkenny are in receipt of rent supplement, new figures have revealed.

Fine Gael's Bernard Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection on the number of persons in receipt of rent support by county and local authority area.

He also asked the Minister the extent to which current rent supports are available and adequate to meet the housing needs of those in danger of becoming homeless under various circumstances.

Minister Regina Doherty said rent supplement plays a vital role in housing families and individuals, with the scheme “currently supporting some 36,200 recipients at a cost of €253 million in 2017”.

She said: “In recognition of the on-going rental market difficulties, my Department continues to implement a targeted case-by-case policy approach in the administration of rent supplement that allows for flexibility where landlords seek rents in excess of the rent limits.

“To date in 2017, in excess of 1,500 rent supplement recipients have been supported with increased rent payments ensuring that they can continue to retain their homes.

“As the Deputy will be aware the strategic policy direction of the Department is to return rent supplement to its original purpose of being a short-term income support, with the introduction of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, available nationwide from 1 March 2017.

“There are currently over 29,000 HAP tenancies in place of which 8,500 (c.30%) are transfers from rent supplement.

“In addition to the ongoing transfer of long-term rent supplement recipients to HAP, new applicants who have been assessed as having a social housing need are being supported by Local Authorities through HAP rather than rent supplement.

“Officials in my Department continue to work closely with the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and local authorities to facilitate the ongoing transfer of cases from rent supplement to HAP.”