Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources and Fine Gael TD for Galway West, Seán Kyne has welcomed the news that higher Rent Supplement limits are being introduced in Galway to help with rising rents.
Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar and Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government Simon Coveney have confirmed to me that Cabinet has agreed to increase rent limits under the Rent Supplement and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) schemes.
Galway and every county or county sub-district in Ireland has a maximum rent limit, within which Rent Supplement can be paid. The new measure agreed by Cabinet today means that maximum rent limits will increase in Galway and in every part of Ireland, with the increase reflecting the pressures on rental properties in each particular location.
In Galway the rent ceilings are at €575/€640 for a single person/couple (€330/€360 for a single person/couple in shared accommodation) and €850/€875/€900 for a family with 1/2/3 children respectively. Rent ceilings may vary across different areas of the city and the county to take into account differences in rental costs.
The new limits mean that people in Galway who cannot afford the full cost of private rented accommodation, will receive greater assistance from the State from this Friday, July 1st.
Anyone in Galway who has entered an informal top-up arrangement with their landlord is advised to contact their Community Welfare Service for assistance, as the Department of Social Protection will regularise these top-ups in most cases.
This will provide more stability for tenants in Galway and reduce the danger of families becoming homeless when their rent is increased.
Moreover, the Housing Assistance Programme (HAP) is being implemented in stages across Ireland and is currently available in 19 local authority areas.
The HAP is a more long term programme which is providing support towards housing costs for low income households. It is different from the Rent Supplement in that the HAP is designed to provide support even after a person has gone back to work, subject to income limits. More than 10,000 households currently in receipt of housing support under the scheme at a cost to the Exchequer of €48 million in 2016.