Nowhere for poorest households to rent in Galway and Waterford cities, survey finds

Simon Communities reports ‘alarming’ lack of housing for those dependent on HAP

There is nowhere for the poorest households to rent in Galway city, Waterford city, Athlone and Sligo, a survey published on Tuesday finds.

The latest "Locked Out of the Market" survey by the Simon Communities found 8 per cent of rental properties listed on the website across 11 areas were within the limits set for people dependent on the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) or rent supplement.

There was one home available within the rent limits in each of Limerick city and Portlaoise – both for a couple or parent with one child – and two in north Kildare.

In Dublin city centre, there were three properties available within rent limits – two for a family with one child and one for a family with two children.


The quarterly survey, now in its 14th edition, examined what properties were "for rent" on in Athlone, Cork city centre, Dublin city centre, Dundalk, Galway city centre, north Kildare, Co Leitrim, Limerick city centre, Portlaoise, Sligo and Waterford city centre between April 2nd and 4th. Of the 525 properties available, 482 were beyond the rent limits.

It is alarming that in some of the country's most populated urban centres there is absolutely nowhere for people looking to rent on HAP to live

Prospective tenants dependent on HAP or rent supplement are permitted to pay maximum rents that are set depending on their household size and where they are renting. In Dublin, for example, a family with two children may pay a maximum of €1,275 per month, while in Longford they may pay up to €425. The level of HAP they get depends on whether they are working and their income.

Across all 11 areas Simon found just one property – in Dundalk – available for a single person on HAP.

There were fewer properties to let than the 1,150 available in May 2015 when the survey was first conducted. This decline, coupled with rent inflation, has led to a situation where the poorest households are being locked out of the market, said Wayne Stanley, national spokesman for Simon.

“It is alarming that in some of the country’s most populated urban centres there is absolutely nowhere for people looking to rent on HAP to live.

“Single people and families with one- and two-bedroom homes are facing an almost impossible challenge to find somewhere to live in many parts of the country. Availability of tenure types needs to be addressed urgently, as it’s clear we don’t have enough one-bed flats or apartments to meet this need.”

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland

Kitty Holland is Social Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times