Government confirms €5,000 increase in income eligibility for social housing

ireland
Government Confirms €5,000 Increase In Income Eligibility For Social Housing Government Confirms €5,000 Increase In Income Eligibility For Social Housing
An estimated 16,000 households could be eligible to apply for social housing nationwide from January 1st, 2023. Photo: PA Images
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Kenneth Fox

The Government has approved a €5,000 increase for social housing income limits.

As the Irish Examiner reports, an estimated 16,000 households could be eligible to apply for social housing nationwide from January 1st, 2023.

Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell welcomed this news, saying that this increase has broadened the base of households eligible for social housing supports.

“This is something I have campaigned on consistently since last February and I’m very pleased that these changed thresholds will assist those households requiring critically urgent supports, but who otherwise would not be eligible to secure them."

Speaking on the outdated system, Focus Ireland director of advocacy Mike Allen, said that families on “very modest incomes” are now more likely to find themselves homeless yet ineligible for social housing support under the current system.

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"The failure to review the income thresholds for access to social housing since 2011 (except for minor changes) demonstrates the same neglect of basic good practice which we also see in the failure to review the maximum rent levels payable under HAP and Rent Supplement," he said.

Deputy O’Donnell outlined that although the thresholds were increased in Carlow, Clare, Galway County, Laois and Westmeath last month, they had generally remained unchanged since 2011, whereas “rental accommodation costs have increased significantly nationwide”.

He gives the example of the standardised average rent in new tenancies increasing 54 per cent from €921 in 2016 to €1,415 in 2021, while the average annual real household disposable income increased only 21 per cent over the same period, rising from €38,540 to €46,471.

“Of our 31 local authorities around Ireland, just seven offer rental accommodation to an adult earning under the income threshold at a cost of less than 35 per cent of their income,” Deputy O’Donnell said.

That means that anyone seeking to rent a social housing property in 24 local authority areas finds more than 35 per cent of their earnings going on rent.

“I’m very pleased that approval has been given to roll this increase out from January 1st next year – a few short weeks away. I know the very real positive difference this move will make,” Deputy O’Donnell added.

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