General News / January 10, 2022

Private renters subsidised by the state at the most risk of poverty

Image via Unsplash
General News / January 10, 2022

Private renters subsidised by the state at the most risk of poverty

Words: Eva O’Beirne

According to new research by Social Justice Ireland, almost half of those in rented accommodation are at risk of poverty after paying rent.

The new report Housing and Poverty 2022 released by SJI indicates that inadequate government housing subsidies are driving greater numbers into poverty. SJI notes that to be deemed “at risk of poverty” during 2020 meant living on or below 60 per cent of the average income which is 273.17 euro per week.

The report stated that those in rented accommodation are most at risk as nearly one third of renters have incomes below 273.17 euro per week before they pay rent. This increases to 44.7 per cent once rent is paid.

The figures get worse when it comes to private rented accommodation that is subsidised by the state. According to the Central Statistics Office, 22.7 per cent of people living in subsidised rented accommodation were living below the poverty line before rent was factored in.

Once housing costs are taken into account, this rises to 55.9 per cent.

The Department of Housing is planning to increase its reliance on the private-rented sector though subsidies such as the Rental Assistance Scheme, Housing Assistance Payment and rent supplement, despite these figures.

On a national level, SJI says the proportion of people nationally who are at risk of poverty is 13.2 per cent, but after housing costs are included it increases to 19 per cent.

SJI commented on the findings of the report, explaining that it shows “the deep inequalities experienced by people living in the private rented sector generally, but clearly demonstrates that private rented subsidies are not the solution”.

The news comes as The Sunday Times Dublin Property Price Guide found that property values in Dublin are expected to rise by an average of 5.8% this year due to high demand.

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