The June 2022 Locked Out of the Market report comes in the context of a private rental market affected by a documented ongoing contraction in supply, increase in rental prices, and an overall lack of affordability.
June 2022 Locked Out of the Market report found 657 properties available to rent at any price within the 16 areas over the three dates surveyed.
Locked Out of the Market, June 2022, shows both a drop in the number of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) properties available and a drop in the proportion of HAP properties available to rent. In March 2022 and December 2021, Locked Out found that 11% of properties were affordable under HAP. The June 2022 report, however, found only 37 unique properties available under a standard or discretionary HAP limits in at least one of the four household categories, representing only 5.6% of total properties available.
Of the 37 properties, only two were affordable under a standard HAP limit. The remaining 35 fell under discretionary rates. As seen in many recent Locked Out reports, the supply of properties within HAP limits was predominantly available in Dublin; 27 of the total 37 HAP properties were found in the three Dublin areas examined (Dublin City Centre, Dublin City North and Dublin City South). This is not surprising given the discretionary HAP limit extends to 50% in Dublin, while the rest of the country is limited to only 20%.
Outside of Dublin, HAP properties available to rent within are worryingly low; nine of the 16 areas had no HAP properties available to rent in any household category within standard or discretionary limits. These were Cork City Centre, Dublin City Centre, Galway City Centre, Galway City Suburbs, Co. Leitrim, Limerick City suburbs, Limerick City Centre, Sligo Town, and Portlaoise.
In this report, we have also taken account of the recent announcement by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage to increase the discretionary rate to 35% for areas outside Dublin. In collecting data for this report, properties that fell within a 35% and a 50% discretionary limit outside of Dublin were additionally noted. If the 35% discretionary rate had been introduced at the time of this study, only an additional five HAP properties would have been available. Increasing the discretionary rate to 50%, however, would make a slightly more notable 19 properties available in Local Authority areas outside Dublin; this would nearly triple the 10 currently available.
The Minister also announced plans to increase the single adult HAP rate to match the couple’s rate. If this measure were introduced at the time of this study, singles and couples would have 17 properties available to them. At the current rates, only one location (Athlone) had a property (one-bedroom unit) within standard HAP limits for single people. That same property was also the only one-of-two properties available within standard HAP limits for a couple. The lack of affordable, one-bedroom properties is concerning given the rise in homelessness among adults. In March 2022, the Department of Housing reported the highest number of single people in homelessness on record at 5,143.
For families with one and two children, there were no properties available within standard HAP limits. Only 12 properties were available under discretionary limits for households with one child. A further eight were available for families with two children, under the discretionary HAP rate.