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No properties available to singletons and couples receiving rent supplement/HAP in Dundalk

No properties available to singletons and couples receiving rent supplement/HAP in Dundalk

There are still no properties available for singletons and couples to rent in Dundalk using the Rent Supplement/Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), according to a new report from the Simon Communities.

The Locked Out of the Market report found that there were just 31 properties available to rent in the town over three consecutive days in February.

According to the Simon Community, none of those 31 listings advertised on property website would have been affordable to single people or couples within the Department of Social Protection Rent Supplement (RS) limits and Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government’s HAP limits. This follows on from a similar finding when the last report was published last November.

Just 7% of properties nationally were available to those confined by these limits with single people and couples the worst affected with just three properties suitable for each across the country.

The situation did improve when it came to couples or single parents with one child with six properties available to them under RS/HAP limits in Dundalk. There was also 11 properties suitable for couples or single parents with two children under the limits. In both cases Dundalk had the highest number of available properties for people in this category of the 11 urban areas surveyed.

The report found that the average monthly rent for a one bed property in Dundalk was €650, with the RS/HAP limit €575. By contrast two bed properties for couples/single parents with two children averaged €933 but these were more affordable with the RS/HAP limit €1,050 in this case.

While in total 17 properties were available to people receiving HAP with children, this represented a decline of two properties since the last report in November 2017 and a drop of nine properties from this time last year.

The Simon Communities said that RS/HAP payments were “ineffectual” and the current situation was “making it increasingly difficult for recipients of these payments to secure a home.”

It is calling for an ongoing review and adjustment of RS/HAP limits in order to counter the negative impact of private rental market volatility on the provision of social housing supports for people who have the greatest need in society.

According to the latest report from rents in Louth rose by an average of 14.1% in the year to Q4 2017.

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