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Rent Supplement Scheme Payments

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 30 April 2014

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Questions (316)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

316. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Social Protection the maximum allowable rent and rent support in the case of a person (details supplied) in County Kildare in view of the fact that their rent has been increased to €950 per month; if cognisance is taken of the fact that there is a dearth of suitable accommodation in such circumstances; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [18795/14]

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Written answers (Question to Social)

The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term 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. There are approximately 80,000 rent supplement recipients for which the Government has provided over €403 million for 2013.

Revised rent limits under the rent supplement scheme came into force with effect from Monday 17 June 2013 and will be in place until 31 December 2014. These rent limits were determined following an extensive review of the private rental market based on the most up-to-date data available. The Department currently funds up to 30% of the private rented sector so it is essential that the rent limits are kept under review. The new rent limits have been set using the 35th percentile ensuring that sufficient housing is available for recipients of the scheme.

As existing claims come up for review, or when an existing lease expires, they are reassessed using the new limits. Where a rent is above the maximum limit the customer is asked to renegotiate the rent with their landlord. Departmental guidelines on rent supplement states that where negotiation with the landlord fails then rent supplement may continue to be paid for a period of up to thirteen weeks at the higher rate. Following this the tenant will be expected to find suitable accommodation at below the limits in force.

Based on this client’s personal circumstances and income, the maximum monthly rent limit applicable in this case is €750 per month in this area. The rent supplement in payment is at the rate of €611.40, which is this rate less the personal contribution applicable.

Question No. 317 answered with Question No. 307.
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