Cian O'Callaghan TD

Report paints a particularly bleak picture for households reliant on the Housing Assistance Payment 

The latest ‘Locked Out of the Market’ report from the Simon Communities of Ireland further highlights why the Government needs to extend the eviction ban, according to Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan.

Deputy O’Callaghan, who is the party’s Housing spokesperson, said:

“With the no-fault eviction ban due to expire this weekend, this report lays bare the harsh reality for the thousands of people facing into homelessness, particularly those vulnerable households reliant on the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).

“The March 2023 report found just 672 properties to rent at any price within the 16 areas covered over the three dates surveyed. This is a decrease of 11 percent, or 85 properties, from the 757 homes identified in the previous survey last December.

“For the second time since the publication of this report, there were no properties available within a standard HAP rate across the four household types included in the survey.

“Just 29 properties were found within the discretionary HAP rate, which is set at 50 percent for Dublin and 35 percent outside the capital. This is the lowest number of HAP properties ever recorded in the series of surveys.

“It also signifies the lowest proportion of properties within HAP rates – at 4.3 percent, compared to 10.8 percent in March 2022.

“Successive governments’ over-reliance on HAP has led to tens of thousands of people competing in a dwindling private rental market when they should be in social housing. This gives no security to those relying on HAP and drives up rents for everyone else.

“People who qualify for HAP and cannot find a place to live require more than occasional increases to the payment. They need social homes to be delivered at a pace that reflects the scale of the housing disaster.

“This latest report from the Simon Communities of Ireland provides a bleak assessment of our shrinking rental market and makes the Government’s callous decision to end the eviction ban all the more egregious.”

March 30, 2023

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