Homeless risk in council rent scheme claims Laois Sinn Féin TD

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

A social housing rent scheme, which sees county councils paying directly landlord is at risk of making local authority tenants homeless, Laois Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley has claimed

Under the Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP)  scheme, local authorities pay landlords the rent. The accommodation must be within rent limits set down for the household type in that local authority’s area.

In Laois for instance, the maximum rent allowable for a home for a couple or 1 adult with 2 children is €600. Tenants also pay a weekly HAP rent contribution to the local authority, based on their income and ability to pay.

Speaking in the Dáil Deputy Stanley said that he was dealing with a number of tenants in receipt of Rent Supplement whose landlords were refusing to sign up to the HAP Scheme and, because of this, the Department of Social Protection is stopping their housing support payment at the end of February.

“These tenants are very unlikely to source alternative accommodation within that time frame and are at risk of becoming homeless. It is essential that the Department of Social Protection continues to pay Rent Supplement to those tenants who engage with the HAP process and where the landlords are refusing to apply for the HAP Scheme. These tenants cannot be penalised for circumstances outside their control," he said.

The Laois TD said he has contacted the Minister for Social Protection asking her to ensure that tenants in this position continue to receive housing supports to enable them to remain in their homes.

Rents have risen dramatically in Laois especially in Portlaoise. The lowest home for rent listed by Daft.ie in Portlaoise is located at Bridge St. The one-bed apartment is listed at €700 a month. The least expensive home in the town is 115 Hillview drive Portlaoise. The three bed two storey house will set you back €750 to rent.

Just 14 homes are listed on the Daft.ie website.