Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
1313. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if local authorities will continue to implement a rent freeze for the duration of the Covid-19 crisis; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5636/20]
The various differential rent schemes in place in local authorities provide for rents which are linked to a tenant's income. It should be noted that rents can go down where a person’s income reduces. Accordingly, a rent freeze would not be appropriate as it would prevent downward rent movements in such circumstances and, therefore, no rent freeze has been implemented by local authorities.
Where a person resident in social housing has lost employment as a result of COVID-19, their local authority can review the rent payable to take account of this. In the current situation, local authority staff engaged on rents administration are prioritising the processing of these applications for downward rent reviews.
In relation to any household income increase that may be attributable to COVID-19 payments issued by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, I understand that local authorities are not currently increasing rents on foot of these payments on the basis that they are temporary in nature.