Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Questions (199)

Brendan Griffin


199. Deputy Brendan Griffin asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if rent supplement is being issued to recipients at a location (details supplied) in County Kerry; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5792/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

Rent supplement continues its vital role in housing families and individuals, with the scheme supporting approximately 23,300 recipients for which the Government has provided €132.4 million for 2019.

The Department can confirm that rent allowance is being paid to a number of residents, in appropriate accommodation, in the Seaside Caravan Park, Camp. In the case of private rented accommodation, tenancy arrangements involve a contract between the landlord and the tenant. The Department has no contractual relationship with the landlord and tenant behaviour is a matter for the landlord in the first instance. There are a number of avenues open to landlords in such cases, including the mediation service for landlords and tenants operated by the Private Residential Tenancies Board and/or recourse to the Garda Síochána and/or the Courts in relation to the enforcement of the law in dealing with anti-social or criminal behaviour.

Under the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 tenants are obliged not to behave within a dwelling, or in the vicinity of it, in a way that is anti-social. Landlords are obliged to enforce the tenant’s obligations, and may seek termination of a tenancy due to a tenant’s antisocial behaviour.

The Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 provides the Department with the authority to refuse, suspend or terminate payment of a rent supplement in the case of a person who has been required to deliver up possession of a dwelling provided by a housing authority or an approved body where the reasons for that requirement include anti-social behaviour or the interests of good estate management.

The strategic goal of returning rent supplement to its original purpose; that of a short-term income support, has been primarily facilitated by the introduction of the HAP. The “Rebuilding Ireland - Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness (July 2016), reiterated in the “Housing First National Implementation Plan 2018-2021” (September 2018), is to provide 87,000 flexible housing supports through the HAP and Rental Accommodation Scheme between 2016 and 2021. As part of this commitment will be the transfer of those out of rent supplement with long term housing needs to HAP with a targeted completion date of these transfers by the end of 2020. For 2019, HAP’s transfer activity is expected to yield a closing rent supplement base of approximately 15,000 rent supplement customers at year end.

I trust this clarifies the matter.