Rent Assistance regime forcing families to move says Catherine Murphy
Deputy Catherine Murphy, Independent TD for Kildare North today highlighted the “lopsided and counter-productive” manner in which the Rent Assistance and is administered across local authorities.
Figures compiled by the Deputy highlight the extreme variance in numbers on Local Authority housing waiting lists and accommodation available from county to county.
“In places like Kildare the current Rent Assistance regime compounds the problem as it treats all of Co. Kildare with the same limits – ignoring the fact that in areas of high population density properties are rarely, if at all available at the limit set. Families with lifelong ties to an area are being forced to move to other areas where rents are more affordable or limits are higher. Often this involves the huge upheaval of having to take children out of schools, along with the associated cost to the State. While there should never be grounds for the State to pay above market rates, it’s clear that pockets have developed around the country where no properties can be obtained at present assistance limits.
“A genuinely responsive and nuanced rent assistance regime is urgently called for, and I would ask Minister Joan Burton to immediately review the Rent Allowance system with a view to taking the differences in rental rates within local authority areas into consideration.”