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Written Answers - Rent Supplement

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 765 No. 3

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 318.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for Social Protection Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton  the position regarding rent allowance and housing in respect of separated persons (details supplied); her view on same; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [24336/12]

Minister for Social Protection (Deputy Joan Burton): Information on Joan Burton Zoom on Joan Burton The purpose of the rent supplement scheme is to provide short-term support to eligible people living in private rented accommodation whose means are insufficient to meet their accommodation costs and who do not have accommodation available to them from another source. The overall aim is to provide short-term assistance, and not to act as an alternative to the other social housing schemes operated by the Exchequer. To qualify for rent supplement, a person must be residing in private rented accommodation or accommodation for homeless persons (or any combination of these) for a period of 183 days within the preceding 12 months of the date of claim for rent supplement. A person may also qualify for rent supplement where an assessment of housing need has been carried out in the 12 months preceding the date of claim and the person is deemed by the relevant local authority to be eligible for and in need of social housing support. In all other cases, a person who wishes to apply for rent supplement is referred, in the first instance, for an assessment of eligibility for social housing support by a housing authority. Only when the person has been assessed as being eligible for and in need of social housing support, does the person become eligible for consideration for rent supplement. Policy in relation to the assessment of housing need is a matter for the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.

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