Question No: 39 Ref No: 24802-15
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection the extent to which adequate resources remain available to her Department to meet Rent Support requirements, in view of the rapid increase in rents throughout the greater Dublin area and adjoining counties; and if she will make a statement on the matter. – Bernard J. Durkan.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 24th June, 2015.
R E P L Y
Rent supplement continues to play a vital role in housing families and individuals, with the scheme supporting approximately 68,000 people this year at a cost of €298 million. Over 5,600 claims have been awarded in 2015. Rent supplement is a demand-led scheme and the Government will continue to ensure that the necessary resources for the scheme are in place.
In response to the current difficulties experienced in the private rented market, the Department has implemented preventative measures to provide for flexibility in assessing customers’ individual accommodation needs through the National Tenancy Sustainment Framework. Under this approach, each tenant’s circumstances are considered on a case-by-case basis and rents are being increased above prescribed limits throughout the country, as appropriate, including those in Kildare.
The Department is also working with Threshold’s Tenancy Sustainment service in the Dublin and Cork city areas where supply is most acute. This flexible approach has already assisted over 2,100 rent supplement households nationwide to retain their rented accommodation through the payment of increased rent payments.
In addition the Department has also undertaken a communications campaign which seeks to encourage people at risk to contact the Department or the Threshold Tenancy Protection service as early as possible.
I can assure the Deputy that I am keeping the matter under review to ensure that the necessary supports continue to be provided.