Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (184)

Pearse Doherty


186 Deputy Pearse Doherty asked the Minister for Social Protection given the assurances that she has given Dáil Éireann that no person will become homeless due to changes in rent supplement, if she will outline the research undertaken by her to ensure that this statement is well-founded. [35912/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Social Protection)

There are approximately 92,000 persons in receipt of rent supplement for which the Government has provided a sum of €436 million for 2012. New maximum rent limits were introduced, from January 1 2012, following analysis of the most up-to-date market data available. The emphasis of the rent limit review was to ensure that maximum value for money for tenants and the taxpayer was achieved whilst at the same time ensuring that people on rent supplement are not priced out of the market for private rented accommodation.

For all counties, major urban population centres were tested as part of the review to ensure that rent supplement applicants can access temporary housing arrangements whilst seeking employment opportunities. 25,000 rent supplement claims, which represents over 27% of total claims, have been awarded this year, indicating that accommodation can be secured within the new limits.

Community based Department officials dealing with rent supplement tenants are continuing to ensure that their accommodation needs are met and that the residence is reasonably suited to their residential and other needs.

The Department continues to monitor the impact of the rent limits.