As at June 2018, there were 36 Differential Rent Schemes in place across the country. While almost 60% of the schemes have a maximum rent, only five have different maximums for different property types e.g. 2 bed, 3 bed houses etc.
At present the making of rent schemes and the setting of rent levels is a matter for each local authority under section 58 of the Housing Act 1966. As a result, the levels of rents charged vary across authorities with the result that households in similar circumstances may be charged different amounts of rent depending on the city/county they are living in.
Considerable work has been carried out by my Department in developing a draft national differential rents framework under section 31 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2009. Such a framework has as its main aim the facilitation of a significant harmonisation in local authority rents, whilst retaining the general principle of rents related to household income.
This work has been examined further in the light of the broader commitment given in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness, to review the disparate systems of differential rent for social housing in place across local authorities. The overall objective is to ensure that housing supports are fair and sustainable and prioritise those on lowest incomes.
I expect that the review will be completed shortly.