93% of rental properties beyond Rent Supplement/HAP payments

No properties within RS/HAP limits in four of the eleven study areas – a record low.

The Simon Communities latest Locked Out of the Market X snapshot study has been published today and shows that only 7% of properties available to rent are available within Rent Supplement (RS) /Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) levels. The study was conducted over three consecutive days – 13th, 14th and 15th of February 2018. This is the tenth study in the Locked Out of the Market series.


There were just 538 properties available to rent across the eleven locations during this snapshot study. This is a decrease of 54% when compared to May 2015, when the first Locked Out of the Market study was carried out and there were 1,150 properties available. One year ago, 600 properties were available to rent.


Niamh Randall, National Spokesperson for the Simon Communities in Ireland said this is a situation going from bad to worse.


‘It really is nearly impossible for people to find somewhere to rent. Overall supply is considerably down but the number of properties available to rent within the limits of Rent Supplement and the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is miniscule. This is extremely problematic as the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland plan is heavily reliant on the private rental sector to deliver social housing through HAP. There are 5,232 households in Emergency Accommodation yet the Daft.ie report showed that there were fewer than 3,150 properties available to rent nationwide in the month of February 2018. The supply is simply not there for people to move on from emergency accommodation and homeless services. Over 9,000 people are stuck; there is nowhere for them to go. Many of these people in emergency accommodation are there because they have already lost their rented home.’


‘Our Locked Out study also showed there were only 3 properties available for single people with average rent 49% higher than the average RS/HAP payment limits for a single person. 44% of people on the social housing waiting list are recorded as single without dependants in their care and 3,715 people in emergency accommodation are recorded as being single. In the absence of being able to afford to buy a home, the private rental market is their only option. Where are they to go? Some landlords are now asking for three months’ rent in advance. People on housing benefit, low incomes or those leaving homelessness just cannot afford that. Furthermore, they may not be able to provide an employer reference or a previous landlord reference.’


‘Full rent certainty and security of tenure are the building blocks for a stable rental sector and we call yet again for their urgent introduction. In addition, loopholes that allow section 34 evictions to continue for reasons of sale or renovations so called ‘renovictions’ must be closed down. People trapped in emergency accommodation need affordable homes with support where needed (Housing First). Rent Supplement and HAP must increase to allow households in receipt of these payments to compete fairly in the Private Rented Sector. In Rent Pressure Zones (RPZs), these payments must increase by at least 4% as the majority of rents in these areas will increase by at least 4% per annum. Critically the State must build social and affordable homes at the scale required; that is the key to resolving this crisis.


The Simon Communities deliver supports and services to over 11,000 people and families who experience or are at risk of homelessness every year. 


For media queries and interview requests

Helen McCormack

Tel: 01 671 1606/ 085 806 5141

E:  communications@simoncommunity.com



About Simon Communities

The Simon Communities in Ireland are a network of eight regionally based independent Simon Communities based in Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Galway, the Midlands, the Mid West, the North West and the South East that share common values and ethos in tackling all forms of homelessness throughout Ireland, supported by a National Office. The Simon Communities have been providing services in Ireland for over 40 years.  The Simon Communities deliver support and service to over 8,300 people and families throughout Ireland who experience – or are at risk of – homelessness every year. Whatever the issue, for as long as we are needed, Simon’s door is always open. For more information, please log on to www.simon.ie


Services range from

  • Housing provision, tenancy sustainment & settlement services, housing advice & information services helping people to make the move out of homelessness & working with households at risk;
  • Specialist health & treatment services addressing some of the issues which may have contributed to homeless occurring or may be a consequence;
  • Emergency accommodation & support providing people with a place of welcome, warmth & safety;
  • Soup runs & rough sleeper teams who are often the first point of contact for people sleeping rough.  
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