Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Questions on Promised Legislation
I thank the Deputy for the question. The Residential Tenancies Board, RTB, released its report for the first quarter of 2018 on rent measures and the rent index and it included some very interesting results. There was a national increase in rents of 0.4%. That is the smallest increase we have seen in 12 months. In Dublin rents increased by only 1% and it was 1.1% in the previous quarter, the last quarter of last year. We are seeing a slowdown in rent inflation. Interestingly in Kildare, Meath and Wicklow we actually saw rents falling. What that means in practical terms is that if one is renting a house one's rent will have increased by approximately €1 over the last three months and if one is renting an apartment it will have increased by approximately €18. We accept that rents are still too high. I accept that. However, there is an uplift of 20% for people who are accessing the housing assistance payment and one can get an additional uplift if one has more family members. If one is at risk of homelessness the uplift is as much as 50%. As a result of bringing in those additional uplifts we are seeing that the HAP is working. We are securing tens of thousands of people into HAP tenancies and every week many more begin receiving HAP.