Over 1,500 getting rent supplement

Some 1,547 County Kilkenny households are receiving rent supplement, according to figures from the Department of Social Protection, writes Tess Felder.

Some 1,547 County Kilkenny households are receiving rent supplement, according to figures from the Department of Social Protection, writes Tess Felder.

The list of people seeking accommodation assistance from Kilkenny County Council meanwhile stands at over 3,000, including some who are seeking rent supplement, although this is not intended to be a long-term solution, the department says.

“The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term income support, to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do not have accommodation available to them from any other source. The aim is to provide short-term assistance, and not to act as an alternative to the other social housing schemes operated by the Exchequer,” Social Protection Minister Joan Burton said in response to a parliamentary question.

“While statistics are not available on the numbers of applicants awaiting a decision on rent and mortgage interest supplement applications or the average length of time taken to assess these claims, I am satisfied that the department’s staff dealing with these applications make every effort to ensure claims are processed in an efficient manner,” she said.