Written Answers. - Health Board Allowances.

Bernard J. Durkan

Question:

153 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for Social and Family Affairs the reason a person (details supplied) in County Kildare has not been awarded rent allowance in view of the fact that the person is homeless and recovering from cancer; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [17315/03]

The supplementary welfare allowance scheme, which is administered on behalf of my Department by the health boards, provides for the payment of a weekly or monthly supplement in respect of rent to eligible persons in the State whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation needs. The maximum level of rent which a person may incur is determined by each health board and is set by reference to household composition and local property rental prices.

The South-Western Area Health Board has advised that the rent being sought in this case is €205 per week which is almost twice the relevant rent limit for a single person, normally €107 per week. The person was given the opportunity to provide evidence of any exceptional circumstances which ought to be considered by the board. In light of the information provided, the board determined that the circumstances of the case were not such as to warrant payment of the rent being sought. The person concerned has been advised that he should secure more reasonably priced accommodation to qualify for a rent supplement.