Rent Allowance Increase Only the Beginning Required to Deal with Social Housing Crisis

Dublin West Sinn Fein representative Paul Donnelly has said that the recent announcement of an moderate increase in the rent allowance of €50 is only a minor step forward in dealing with the social housing crisis.

Mr Donnelly said “Minister Burton’s belated acknowledgment of the crisis facing people in Dublin and in particular Dublin West is to be welcomed but only if it is part of a first step in dealing with the social housing crisis”.

“My office is constantly dealing with severe and distressing housing issues here in Dublin West. Many people are in the dire predicament of increasing rents and decreasing rent allowance. Rents in the private sector in Dublin West are outstripping the rent allowance forcing people out of their homes or to pay under the counter “top ups” to supplement the rent allowance. This is unacceptable, particularly as these families are faced with moving their children from their schools and friends”.

“There has recently been an assessment of housing needs in Fingal which will indicate that there are over 9,000 people on the social housing list. The solution to the massive payments of hundreds of millions to private landlords is to start investing in long term social housing schemes, whether that is building, purchasing or long term leasing. Short term RAS schemes and rent allowance are not and were never designed to be long term solutions”.

“The thousands of people caught up in this housing crisis will anxiously await whether this increase signals are real intention to tackle this problem or indeed if it’s the usual Labour party spin. Delivering social housing for Dublin West will be the real test.”

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