Deputy Broughan today received information from the Department of Social Protection regarding the number of Rent Supplement Uplift Payments and Active HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) Tenancies by county up to the 22nd of January 2016. Unsurprisingly Dublin has the largest number of uplifts (increased payments) at 4,075 of the 6,113 uplifts nationwide being made for Dublin tenancies.

Threshold, a national housing charity, has been working with the Department of Social Protection to assist in providing increased Rent Supplement payments to tenants in Dublin and Cork in cases where landlords have increased rents. Threshold has awarded 71 uplifts in Cork and 1,707 in Dublin. The National Tenancy Sustainment Framework is another attempt to stem the flow of very large numbers of families and persons entering homelessness due to being priced out of the spiralling and poorly regulated rental market. In Dublin 2,368 increased payments have been made, 261 in Meath, 256 in Kildare, 246 in Cork, 165 in Tipperary, 123 in Galway.

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is another measure introduced by the Government to keep people accommodated in the private rented market (rather than providing secure, permanent, social housing). There are 1,107 active HAP in Cork, 1,085 in Limerick, 672 in Dublin, 666 in Waterford, 657 in Louth, 557 in Donegal, 512 in Kilkenny.

Deputy Broughan said “The current housing, rental and homeless crisis will be, and should be, a huge issue for the electorate coming up to General Election 2016. The figures provided by the Department of Social Protection clearly show the localisation of the issue with some counties showing very low numbers of increased Rent Supplement payments or HAP tenancies yet each of the 26 counties are affected. If the rental market remains poorly regulated and those in mortgage arrears continue to be disregarded then the ‘economic homeless’ numbers will continue to rise throughout 2016. Taoiseach Kenny, Minister Kelly and their cronies have taken no responsibility for allowing this housing crisis to happen and worsen and their pathetic attempts to spin their solutions comes nowhere near what is needed to properly address the issue before a generation of ‘hotel children’ are lost. Make this an election issue – #askabouthousing.”