Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Questions (256, 257, 258, 259, 260)

Dessie Ellis

Question:

262 Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons in the Dublin City Council, South Dublin City Council, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown and Fingal County Council areas respectively who are in receipt of rent supplement at present. [34476/12]

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Dessie Ellis

Question:

263 Deputy Dessie Ellis asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of persons in the State in receipt of rent supplement at present and if he will provide a breakdown of local authority areas. [34477/12]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

299 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the current waiting time for an application for mortgage interest supplement; the number of applicants currently waiting for same to be processed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34790/12]

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Thomas P. Broughan

Question:

305 Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Social Protection the current waiting time for an application for rent supplement; the number of applicants currently waiting for same to be processed; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34796/12]

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Sandra McLellan

Question:

319 Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Social Protection the number of recipients in receipt of rent allowance in Cork city and county; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [34931/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 262, 263, 299, 305 and 319 together.

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.

Statistics on the number of rent supplement recipients by local authority or city/county council areas are not available. However, I attach the most recently compiled breakdown of rent supplement recipients per county in the attached tabular statement.

The timescale for determining applications is dependent, among other things, on the availability of the required information, such as details of the applicant's income, bank statements etc. In addition, some aspects of the application are inevitably time consuming and delays can occur where investigations such as home visits or third party evidence are required. Delays can also arise if the applicant is slow to respond to requests for additional information.

The provision of a prompt service is a major objective for the Department's staff dealing with applications. However, this is tempered by the necessity to ensure that every case is fully investigated and that all cases are dealt with in a consistent and fair manner. 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.

Rent Supplement Recipients by County and Dublin Postal District

County

Recipients

CARLOW

1,339

CAVAN

641

CLARE

1,888

CORK

10,610

DONEGAL

2,712

DUBLIN (COUNTY)

6,115

DUBLIN 1

1,457

DUBLIN 2

274

DUBLIN 3

1,285

DUBLIN 4

390

DUBLIN 5

745

DUBLIN 6

1,828

DUBLIN 6W

457

DUBLIN 7

3,065

DUBLIN 8

2,570

DUBLIN 9

1,414

DUBLIN 10

414

DUBLIN 11

1,793

DUBLIN 12

1,141

DUBLIN 13

828

DUBLIN 14

349

DUBLIN 15

3,904

DUBLIN 16

486

DUBLIN 17

455

DUBLIN 18

501

DUBLIN 20

257

DUBLIN 22

1,671

DUBLIN 24

2,503

DUBLIN TOTAL

33,902

GALWAY

4,553

KERRY

2,233

KILDARE

4,416

KILKENNY

1,547

LAOIS

1,122

LEITRIM

401

LIMERICK

3,656

LONGFORD

540

LOUTH

2,679

MAYO

2,767

MEATH

2,584

MONAGHAN

418

OFFALY

1,288

ROSCOMMON

1,207

SLIGO

603

TIPPERARY

2,468

WATERFORD

1,968

WESTMEATH

1,611

WEXFORD

3,998

WICKLOW

2,667