Dáil debates

Thursday, 30 April 2009

4:00 pm

Photo of Mary HanafinMary Hanafin (Minister, Department of Social and Family Affairs; Dún Laoghaire, Fianna Fail)

Money is paid to tenants who forward it to the landlord with whom they have an agreement. As I indicated, letters will issue to all tenants indicating that rent supplement will be reduced by 8%. As a result, tenants will be required to negotiate with their landlords. People who are working and experiencing a drop in their income are seeking and securing a reduction in their rents. Tenants who are on the rent supplement scheme will be able to negotiate with their landlords in a similar manner. As I indicated, community welfare officers have discretion in cases where persons are made homeless or suffer severe hardship.

Comments

Peter Barrins
Posted on 26 May 2009 10:50 pm (Report this comment)

There is a lot being assumed here Ms Hanafin. I am quite sure that most people will request a reduction in their rent where it is appropriate. If someone has signed a lease then they are legally bound until the lease expires. The landlord may allow a reduction in rent if it suits them and depending on the supply/demand for their property. But what about those at the lowest end of the market, those living in grotty accommodation, who are vulnerable, perhaps ageing, inarticulate and unable to negotiate? People who do not have the financial independence or wherewithal to move on - i.e. the money for a deposit or who may not be attractive as tenants in more desirable properties?

There is a total shortage of local authority housing and the government's housing policy has been a TOTAL failure - there is no argument about this! There should be nobody in receipt of rent supplement for more than 12 months without being offered local authority or some form of social housing. There is NOT enough availability. I know in Co Kildare that there is an enormous waiting list - demand exceeds supply by a large multiple.

Let's be honest here. This is FF, seeking to save money, but targetting the most vulnerable in our society, those whom they perceive to be voiceless and unlikely to create any political ripples. Many poor, vulnerable, tenants such as those highlighted in a Prime Time programme a year or two ago, have been tramped on by unscrupulous landlords and now they are being tramped on by their own government. This Government tried to do the same with medical cards for the over seventies a few months ago, but didn't succeed. FF have no moral barometer, loose ethics and dubious standards. They will stoop to any level - no point is too low for them. As a party, they just disgust me at this point.

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