The availability of affordable accommodation has contracted since June 2020, with single people and areas outside Dublin particularly impacted, according to a Simon Communities report.
The report indicates that supply of affordable housing is critically low throughout the country, especially outside the capital.
The ‘Locked Out of the Market Report’, reveals that just 738 out of 2,543 properties available to rent in 16 areas over a three-day period from 21st to 23rd September on Daft.ie, were affordable for those in receipt of HAP payments.
Some of main findings were included: just 738 properties were available to rent during the three-day snapshot study period were within standard HAP limits.
An overwhelming 94 per cent of properties that fit into a HAP category were in Dublin, indicating the chronic lack of supply within affordable limits outside of Dublin.
There were no properties available to rent within standard or discretionary HAP limits across eight of the 16 areas, the report found.
The areas are Athlone, Cork City Centre, Galway City Centre, Limerick City Suburbs, Limerick City Centre, Sligo Town, Portlaoise and Waterford City Centre.
They said it is an increase from three areas with no properties within HAP rates in the June study. Single people and couples remain disproportionately affected by affordable accommodation availability.
Just one property was available to rent for a single person within standard Rent Supplement/Housing Assistance Payment HAP limits across all 16 study areas.
There were just six two-bedroom units within standard HAP rates for a couple/one parent and one child across all 16 study areas.
National spokesperson for the Simon Communities, Wayne Stanley, said that the results illustrate how the lack of affordable accommodation in the private rental is impacting those at risk of homelessness and is worsening due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This Simon Communities study shows some of the challenges faced by HAP recipients to find a home on the rental market during a global pandemic.
"It is incredibly difficult, particularly for single people, to move on from emergency accommodation and homeless services when looking for HAP accommodation, because all too often there is nowhere else to go.
"There are now 8,702 people in emergency accommodation, 4,463 of whom are single. Although we have seen this reduce during the pandemic, there are still too many."
He said also there is a lack of suitable accommodation within HAP limits, especially around the country, particularly for single people and couples.