The Minister for Social and Family Affairs Mary Hanafin today said that rent supplement limits are set at levels that enable different types of households to secure and retain suitable rented accommodation, and these limits can be amended in light of general market rent levels.
Speaking today Minister Hanafin said "the current rent supplement limits were last reviewed in mid 2008 and regulations covering them were put in place until the end of 2009, in order to give those in receipt of rent supplement clarity about the levels of support available to them, taking into account their individual circumstances.
These rent limits are currently being reviewed and information from the upcoming results of the CSO Private Rented Index survey, which covers a wide range of accommodation types and locations, will be analysed to see what impact the market has had on rental levels." The survey from the CSO is due next month. The results from the daft.ie survey will also be analysed for impact on rent limits.
Once this information has been examined, Minister Hanafin said "the Department can, if appropriate, make an amendment to the levels of supplement in order to ensure that those in receipt of rent supplement can get quality accommodation at the most affordable price"
The Health Service Executive which administers the scheme on behalf of the Department, has the flexibility to award rent supplement above or below rent limits, having regard to local rent levels or to meet the particular needs of an individual. Last year over €440million in rent supplement was paid by the Department of Social and Family Affairs. The average weekly rent supplement payment at the end of 2008 was €125.87 and there are some 77,000 people in receipt of rent supplement.
th February 2009