06 Jul 2022

Tiny number of Laois homes for people who get rent support

Labour rep warns HAP housing support system has collapsed


Only four homes in Laois are suitable for families who are seeking accommodation and in receipt of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) to help pay the rent for their homes.

So concludes Labour Party Laois are Eoin Barry who says it shows that the housing crisis in Laois demands serious government attention.

He qouted research carried out by Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan which found that just 820 homes for families receiving HAP were available in Ireland.
Mr Barry said: “HAP was introduced to give people and families a chance in this chronic rental market. However with only three properties for families and one for single people in receipt of HAP available in Laois , it’s clear that the system has collapsed.
“Despite the increase in the discretionary rate that the HAP system has failed, and moving from direct build social housing to HAP has been a disaster for those at the bottom of the housing market.
“Long-term, we need much more social housing built at scale, but short-term we need to revise the basic HAP limits as they are clearly not reflecting the outrageous rents charged in Laois or throughout the country.
“Labour analysis found that ten counties have fewer than 10 properties available to rent on that are suitable for HAP payments. There are only three properties available in Donegal, all of which are homes of four bedrooms or larger which would not be deemed suitable for small families or single people" he said.

“Single people in particular are really struggling to find accommodation, which is being reflected in our homeless figures. The HAP rates available to single people are nowhere near adequate even if a place can be found. This is driving more and more single people from the private rental market into homelessness.
“I am also keenly aware of the number of renters in Laois on low incomes who aren’t receiving social supports yet are struggling to keep a roof over their head. I would reiterate Labour’s demands that the Minister for Housing urgently progress the implementation of the Income Eligibility Scheme as laid out in the Housing for All plan and ensure that we revisit the income limits to qualify for social housing,"
“The unfortunate reality is that there is a fundamental lack of supply in the housing market. We need government to increase investment in cost rental properties and social and affordable housing. While we wait for more stock to come onto the market, targeted and time limited measures like a rent freeze must be considered by government to protect all renters,”  concluded the former local election candidate.

Mr Barry added that Roscommon, Sligo and Mayo have no one-bedroom properties available for rent on that would be suitable for people who live alone. He claimed Cork and Dublin are the only two counties that have more than 10 properties available for rent for people who live on their own. Cork has just 15 and there are 107 in the capital.

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