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Written Answers. - Rent Supplement Scheme.

Wednesday, 8 May 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 465 No. 1

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[184]

 177. Mr. Gregory Information on Tony Gregory Zoom on Tony Gregory  asked the Minister for Social Welfare Information on Prionsias De Rossa Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  if he will have arrangements made for a thorough investigation into the payment of recent subsidies for tenancies in premises (details supplied) in Dublin 3 during the past 12 months; if subsidies were withdrawn from tenant(s) who continued to reside at the premises and claimed subsidies using addresses from other properties owned by the same landlord; the precise basis on which it was decided to reinstate payments of subsidies at this address while it continued to be in breach of fire and other planning/building regulations in view of the concerns that Deputy Gregory has expressed in details to an official in his Department. [9263/96]

 178. Mr. Gregory Information on Tony Gregory Zoom on Tony Gregory  asked the Minister for Social Welfare Information on Prionsias De Rossa Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa  whether it is appropriate for his Department to inform a member of Dáil Éireann if a named individual is in receipt of a rent subsidy and the premises for which that subsidy is being paid. [9264/96]

Minister for Social Welfare (Proinsias De Rossa): Information on Prionsias De Rossa Zoom on Prionsias De Rossa It is proposed to take Questions Nos. 177 and 178 together.

During the period December 1994 and September 1995 rent supplements were in payment to various persons residing at the address in question. In September 1995 rent supplements were withdrawn in respect of these premises when it was found that the premises did not comply with the fire, health and safety standards of Dublin Corporation. The premises was visited earlier this year by the superintendent community welfare officer and the community welfare officer on receipt of an application for a rent supplement from one of the tenants who had previously been in receipt of a rent supplement. Considerable improvements had been carried out by the landlord and payment of a rent supplement was restored to this tenant until 20 April 1996. The EHB have ascertained that this tenant is moving shortly to a new address to enable the landlord to carry out further renovations on the premises.

There is no evidence that other tenants of these premises claimed rent supplements using addresses from other properties owned by the same landlord. Accordingly, no rent supplements were withdrawn on this basis.

I share the concerns of the Deputy about any possible abuse of the rent supplement scheme as highlighted in this parliamentary question, and in view of the Deputy's concern, I have asked the EHB to investigate the matter further. However, I am not in a position to disclose confidential information relating to any applicant's circumstances without the applicant's express permission.


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