There are currently just 35 properties available to rent within the rate of Housing Assistance Payment, a report has found.
Four times a year, the Simon Communities of Ireland publishes its Locked Out of the Market report and this quarter’s has revealed that the housing crisis is getting worse.
In June, there were 37 available to rent below HAP payments and prior to September 2021 there were 192 listed.
Most of the 35 properties were located in Dublin; HAP payments in the capital can be 50% above the standard rate and 23 properties were found within the limit in Dublin City Centre, Dublin City North and Dublin City South.
Outside of Dublin, nine areas surveyed had no properties available within HAP rates and Wayne Stanley, Head of Policy and Communications at the Simon Communities, said it illustrated the stark reality of the housing crisis.
“The main finding of the report today is that there were zero properties available within the standard rate of HAP,” Mr Stanley told Newstalk.
“If all the local authorities were to use their maximum discretion available to them, that would make 35 additional properties available.
“So the situation now is we are at, what is in essence, functional zero in terms of the properties available to people on HAP payment.”
The charity described the need for an eviction ban as “imperative”.
It is a policy backed by other housing campaigners and speaking to Newstalk on Sunday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the Government is currently examining how such a ban could be implemented.
“As I’ve been saying consistently for the last number of weeks, the policy decision has to have sound legal underpinning and work has been underway from the Minister for Housing in particular and I expect proposals to come before cabinet at some stage in relation to this.”
Main image: Traditional homes in the inner-city area of North Strand, Dublin. Picture by: Alamy.com