Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Questions (461)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Question:

461. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the reason a person (details supplied) is being refused rent supplement; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [22480/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

The person concerned was in receipt of rent supplement from 24/9/09 to 30/11/18. She was requested to provide the Department with relevant documentation regarding her rent supplement claim, which she failed to provide. The person concerned informed the Department on 19/12/18 that she had received notice to quit her privately rented accommodation and accordingly, her rent supplement claim was closed. The person concerned was subsequently provided with exceptional needs payments (ENPs) to assist with her rental costs from November 2018 to January 2019. However, as ENPs are designed to be one-off payments for unforeseen and exceptional circumstances and rent is a regular and recurring expense, this was not a long-term solution.

The strategic policy of this Department is to return rent supplement to its original purpose of being a short-term income support scheme. As the person concerned has an identified long-term housing need, she is therefore advised to engage with her local authority at her earliest opportunity to ascertain her eligibility for the housing assistance payment (HAP).

The person concerned has not made a new application for rent supplement and this option is available to her to do. However, if she were to fully complete the review document from November 2018 then her case would be reviewed based on that information provided.

I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.