S.I. No. 411 of 2014


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S.I. No. 411 of 2014.

SOCIAL WELFARE (CONSOLIDATED SUPPLEMENTARY WELFARE ALLOWANCE) (AMENDMENT) (NO. 3) (RENT SUPPLEMENT) REGULATIONS 2014

EXPLANATORY NOTE

(This note is not part of the Instrument and does not purport to be a legal interpretation.)

The Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 provides for a range of changes to the framework of social housing support, including the introduction of a housing assistance payment, which will bring together all long-term social housing supports provided by the State under the local authority system. Among the implications of these provisions will be the discontinuation of the payment of Rent Supplement, which is administered by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, in the case of persons with long-term housing needs who have been determined to be qualified for social housing support under a social housing assessment carried out by a housing authority. The Rent Supplement scheme will continue to be available to people who have short-term housing needs.

The housing assistance payment is being introduced on a phased basis, initially in Cork County, Limerick City and County and Waterford City and County from 15th September 2014. Entitlement to Rent Supplement for relevant claimants will now be subject to the following conditions.

In the case of new applications for Rent Supplement in an area in which the housing assistance payment has been introduced, the Supplement will, subject to certain conditions, only be payable where the housing assistance payment is not being paid and where the claimant has been—

  • residing in rented accommodation for a prescribed period and paying rent and subsequent to the commencement of the tenancy experiences a substantial change in circumstances,
  • residing for a prescribed period in either accommodation for homeless persons or in an institution,
  • in receipt of Rent Supplement in respect of another tenancy immediately before making the claim, or
  • in receipt of Rent Supplement within a prescribed period before making the claim.

Existing recipients of Rent Supplement who have been in receipt of the Supplement for a minimum period that is prescribed can be obliged to apply for a social housing assessment (including suitability for the housing assistance payment) and provide confirmation of such application. Where such confirmation is not received within a reasonable period, Rent Supplement will be discontinued.

These Regulations prescribe the various periods required for the operation of the new arrangements. In the case of new applications for Rent Supplement in the areas in which the housing assistance payment is in operation, the claimant is required to have been—

  • residing in rented accommodation, accommodation for homeless persons or in an institution for the period of not less than 183 days during the 12 months immediately before making the claim, or
  • in receipt of Rent Supplement within the period of 12 months before making the claim.

These Regulations also provide that in the case of existing recipients of Rent Supplement they can be obliged to apply for a social housing assessment where they have been in receipt of the Supplement for at least 18 months.

As an interim measure, applicants for Rent Supplement in an area in which the housing assistance payment has been introduced who have been in receipt of that Supplement in respect of another tenancy immediately before making the application or who have been in receipt of the Supplement within the period of 12 months before making the application will continue to be eligible for Rent Supplement until the arrangements for the housing assistance payment have been implemented in full. This will ensure that recipients of Rent Supplement who change address or who take up employment or work opportunities for short periods will continue to be eligible to apply for the Supplement.

These Regulations come into operation on 15th September 2014, at the same time as the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government is commencing the relevant provisions relating to the housing assistance payment contained in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014.

Last modified:19/09/2014