Distress over rent allowance highlighted


HOUSING:INDEPENDENT KILDARE North TD Catherine Murphy said she had boxes of tissues on the counter of her constituency office for distressed people coping with high rents for living accommodation.

She said she saw people who were in difficulty every week.

“The State should not pay more than market rents and we should not keep rents artificially high.”

Ms Murphy said the rent allowance for two adults and two children living in Lucan or south Dublin was €925 a month.

In Leixlip, Celbridge and Maynooth, an area which had a population equivalent to that of Waterford city, and which was very much a Dublin suburb, the allowance was €725 a month, but no properties were available for that kind of money.

“There is no overhang of properties in those towns because most were sold off the plans,” Ms Murphy added. “No Nama-based solutions are in the offing.”

She said people had to look farther afield, which meant they might have to move their children to other towns, creating a series of problems.

Many schools were oversubscribed and it was very difficult to set up a child with special needs requiring additional resources in a new place. They were also being taken away from their friends.

Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton said new maximum rent limits had been set after an analysis of the most up-to-date market data available.

The emphasis of the rent limit review was to ensure that maximum value for money for tenants and the taxpayer was achieved while at the same time ensuring that people on rent supplement were not priced out of the market for good-quality private rented accommodation.

The department, she said, currently funded about 40 per cent of the private rented sector, with approximately 95,000 people receiving rent supplement at a cost of €0.5 billion this year.

Mr Burton said the department was monitoring the impact of the implementation of the new limits.