Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Rent Supplement Scheme Data
1205. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the number of rent supplement claims made; the number of claims awarded from 18 April 2020 until 6 May 2020; the number of rent supplement recipients nationwide for the latest date available; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [5687/20]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 1205 and 1237 together.
Rent supplement continues to play a key role in supporting families and individuals in private rented accommodation, with the scheme currently supporting approximately 19,200 recipients.
For the period 18th April – 6th May some 3,300 claims are currently either in payment (1,800 tenancies awarded) or under consideration/pending a decision (1,400 cases pending). For those cases awaiting a decision I am advised that this will generally be a result of necessary documentation still outstanding from the applicant or ensuring that the timing of the rent supplement payment matches the customer’s rental commitments.
For the counties Monaghan and Cavan the total number of cases awarded since 13th March 2020 is 330 cases, Monaghan has had 210 cases awarded, and Cavan has had 130 cases receiving support.
Rent Supplement is means-tested payment, demand-led scheme and is available as a short-term income support to those in the private rented sector. In view of the difficulties created for many in the private rented sector who have lost significant employment income at this time, including persons who have been medically advised to self-isolate and also persons in casual or self-employment, my department is using the full flexibility of the scheme to provide the necessary support.
With the background of constrained supply within the overall rental sector, the Department continues to implement a targeted, flexible, case-by-case approach where rents exceed limits. This flexible and responsive approach is a key instrument in assisting families to keep their homes and has supported almost 14,900 rent supplement households through increased rental payments who were at imminent risk of homelessness or tenancy loss.
My Department continues to keep this policy position under ongoing review and will continue to provide flexibility in the administration of rent limits so that people can remain in their homes, in particular within the overall context of the Covid-19 emergency.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.