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Social Welfare Recipients Being Priced Out Of Renting In Dublin 8

Rent Rises: Rent Allowance in Dublin 8 (Social Welfare)

After recently digesting the latest figures for rental price increases in Dublin 8, for first time ever, I’m actually quite shocked as to how the prices are rising so fast. We are now just 20% below the peak in mid-2007. That was the stand out fact to me. How could we possibly be getting back to so close to those highly inflated Celtic Tiger prices? Especially considering our own local economy is not anywhere near 20% below the peak.

But immediately after we published the article, and shared it around Facebook, Dublin City Councillor Pat Dunne (People Before Profit/United Left Alliance) made a very interesting comment about the data, and my attention was completely swayed towards an issue that’s been humming away in the background for the past couple of years.

Here is the full comment made by Pat Dunne, the DCC Councillor for Kimmage-Crumlin (including Walkinstown, Terenure, Harolds Cross and the top end of Drimnagh)… “Persons in receipt of Rent supplement are been priced out of the market. Maximum rent level for a single person is €520 and for a family with two children is €975. Increasingly Landlords are refusing to accept tenants who are receiving Rent Supplement. We have a major housing crisis on our hands while this government sits on their hands. We need a major social house building programme now”.

This is a huge issue for Dublin 8, so let’s have a quick look at the figures…

Average Q3 2013 Rental Prices in Dublin 8
1 Bedroom: €835
2 Bedroom: €1,102
3 Bedroom: €1,412
4 Bedroom: €1,715
Data: Daft Quarterly Report

According to the guidelines, since the 17th of June 2013 the maximum rental rates in Dublin (apart from Fingal) for rent allowance recipients are:
Single person in shared accomodation – €350
Couple in shared accommodation – €400
Single person – €520
Couple with no children – €750
Couple with 1 child or one-parent with 1 child – €950
Couple with 2 children or one-parent with 2 children – €975
Couple with 3 children or one-parent with 3 children – €1,000
Data: Rent Allowance @ Citizens Information site

That 2nd set of figures represents the most a landlord can charge, and includes the portion that a tenant must pay alongside the rent allowance itself. So based on those figures, how can anybody on social welfare payments afford to rent any private rental accommodation here in Dublin 8?

For example, the average rental price, during the last quarter, for a 2 bedroom home in Dublin 8 was €1,102, whilst the amount allowed for a couple with 1 and 2 children was (and still is) €950 and €975 respectively. And presumably the average rental prices remain on the rise. The sums just don’t add up.

So I spoke to a bunch of different people, and families, who are receiving rent allowance whilst on social welfare, and living here in Dublin 8, aswell as Dublin 7. They say that if a flat is going for €1,100 and the Community Welfare Officer will only allow €975 for the family, then the tenants just fill in €975 on the rent allowance form, but actually pay the landlord the full amount (€1,100).

This is a practice I’ve known about for some years, but just to prove a point, I’ve identified six families/people in that position right now – of having to claim to pay a lower rate of rent than in reality, just to stay living in a particular area.

For most party’s concerned, it works out ok. The landlord gets what he/she/they want, the social welfare pay what they want, but the tenant must make up the shortfall from their already eroded social welfare payments. Their poverty can only be magnified via this process.

Dublin 8 rental prices infographic Q3 2013Spread The Infographic!

Rental Prices In Dublin 8, Quarterly Update [Q3 2013]

If you would like to share the infographic we created to highlight the rental price increases in Dublin 8, you can do so on the following social networks:


We have uploaded the image itself to those websites, so just click on those links and you will be able to share directly on those social networks!

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