Senator Kieran O'Donnell
THERE was good news for city families yesterday with confirmation the rent supplement cap is to rise by up to 35% in Limerick.
Figures obtained by Senator Kieran O’Donnell reveal big jumps in the support to be offered by the government to those renting and on social welfare. But he has warned landlords they should not “abuse” the increase by hiking rents.
The measures – agreed yesterday by the cabinet to help with soaring rents – will see someone in single shared accommodation get support of up to €270, an increase of €70 per month.
A couple in shared accommodation will now be entitled to receive up to €300, while someone living alone in single accommodation will see their support increase 12% from €375 to €420.
A couple with no children on rent allowance can secure support up to €450, while a family with one child can receive support up to €650 monthly.
A couple or single parent looking after two children will see their rent allowance go up by 27.2% to a limit of €700 monthly, with three child family able to claim a maximum of €750.
Mr O’Donnell has welcomed the increases, which come into force this Friday, July 1.
“This will provide more stability for tenants in Limerick, and reduce the danger of families becoming homeless,” he said.
The new senator advised anyone who has an informal arrangement with their landlord to contact their Community Welfare Service for assistance.
Around 5,000 people across Limerick City and County are reliant on rent supplement to pay their landlords.
Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Cian Prendiville, who sits on the housing committee of Limerick City and County Council, welcomed the rent allowance increase.
But he added: “The bigger problem still exists as rents are rising rapidly. The solution to this isn’t just to keep subsidising landlords more and more. The solution is to introduce real rent controls to actually bring rents down.”
The average increase of rent supplement in Limerick is 20%.
The measures are expected to cost the government €16m in 2016.