Dublin South West TD, Seán Crowe, has described the findings of the latest study by the homeless charity, the Simon Communities Ireland, as deeply disturbing. The Sinn Féin TD said the report shows that 93% of rental properties surveyed across 11 areas are outside within the reach of households receiving Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and Rent Supplement.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“The Simon Communities report looked at the cost of renting in 11 locations across the State and its findings are deeply disturbing. It highlights, once again, that the Government’s approach to the housing crisis is not delivering for individuals and families.

“The study found that out of 532 properties available to rent, 493 of these were above the HAP/Rent Supplement limits with just 39 available within the limits of the four categories of household within the study, which are singles, couples, couple/one parent one child and couple/one parent and two children.

“The results of the survey highlighted how single people and couples are at a distinct disadvantage with only three properties across the eleven locations available to rent falling within HAP/ rent supplement limits for a single person and only three available for couples.

“Clearly the private rented sector subsidised accommodation is out of reach for increased numbers of citizens and it is pushing more and more people into homelessness.

“Government policy is stuck on the idea that HAP is the ideal housing solution for those in social housing need. It is clearly not. It offers no security of tenure to tenants and is not a sustainable social housing solution.

“Social housing needs will only be really met by delivering real council homes owned by local authorities or Approved Housing Bodies.

“Increasing the supply of real social housing units is the only real way to adequately tackle this crisis but unfortunately the Government’s response is not delivering

“A short-term solution that would provide some relief those in the private rented sector is rent certainty and security of tenure, but again the Government is reluctant to proceed with measures that would deliver just that.”