A prominent Dublin landlord claims he has ‘never encountered’ a Housing Assitance Payment (HAP) recipient being refused a tenancy.
Joe Doyle says there's only 'anecdotal evidence' of prejudice against HAP recipients in the rental market.
The subject came up during a lively discussion on the quality of housing in Dublin on today’s Hard Shoulder.
During the discussion, Ireland AM reporter Brianna Parkins noted there’s a ‘huge prejudice’ against people who are on HAP - saying she herself has interviewed several people about it.
However, Mr Doyle insisted there are no landlords turning down potential tenants due to HAP.
He said: “In my experience, I’ve never encountered it.
“I’m a substantial landlord in my part of the city… pretty much 90% of our tenants are HAP recipients.
“It’s a good system where the rent is guaranteed by the State… why would a landlord not want to accept that?
“We always hear the anecdotal evidence. I find it very hard to believe that a landlord would get back to a tenant and say ‘I’m not taking you in because you’re on HAP.”
Kieran noted that landlords “are not idiots” and will not give HAP as a reason for refusing a tenant.
However, Mr Doyle insisted it “doesn’t make sense” that HAP would be a reason for refusal when all accommodation gets hundreds of applications.
Room for rent
The discussion on Dublin housing was brought up after Ms Parkins shared images of a room for rent in Dublin that was advertised on a Facebook group for expats.
It showed a shower, gas heater and bed all in one carpeted room.
Someone put this in the comments on Facebook. This is the other half pic.twitter.com/r3m0YGNmoV
— Brianna Parkins (@parkinsbrea) April 6, 2021
She told Kieran crowded and substandard accommodation is ‘rampant' in the city.
She said: “I see much more substandard accommodation advertised in expat immigrant groups than I would on, say, DAFT.
“There’s plenty of substandard accommodation on DAFT… but in terms of dangerous accommodation in terms of overcrowding or having a gas heater next to a shower or bed… you see that more targeted to expat groups.”
She said the ad in question was deleted due to a backlash, but the room was initially being advertised with a rent of over €700.
Responding to the pictures, Mr Doyle argued: “At the risk of ruffling a few feathers... I’m looking at it and thinking what exactly is the issue here?
"I don’t have all the facts… but how much are they charging for the rent, and is this something that is suitable to somebody who can’t afford a full house?
“Probably not, but there are always people out there where the alternative to them getting a room in a house is they’re on the Ha'penny Bridge or in a hostel they don’t want to go to.”
He acknowledged there is a problem with substandard accommodation in Dublin and some landlords who will 'take advantage' of the housing shortage.
However, he argued there’ll always be people who would ‘prefer a budget-style accommodation’.