David Stanton, Fine Gael TD for Cork East and Minister of State at the Department of Justice, has welcomed the news that higher rental cost limits have been introduced for Rent Supplement and Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).

“I am pleased that new rental limit levels, applying to Rent Supplement and HAP, were increased last Friday, 1st July following approval by the Government. The increase in maximum rent limits is the first in 3 years and is necessary to help tenants meet the recent increases in private rental costs in East Cork and across the country.

“I understand that the new limits will automatically apply to all new claims processed after the 1st July but that reviews can also be undertaken for existing recipients of Rent Supplement or HAP at their request, where a review of entitlement is being undertaken or where an existing lease is expiring. I would encourage anyone in East Cork who has entered into an informal top-up arrangement with their landlord to look into having this top-up regularised.

“The rent limits for all of Cork County have been increased by approximately 20% however it should be noted that there will be no change in the minimum weekly personal contribution towards rental costs of €30 for a single person and €40 for a couple. Full details of the new maximum rent levels for single people, couples and families with children are available on the Department of Social Protection website at: http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Maximum-Rent-Limits-by-County.aspx

“It is the Government’s intention to set Rent Supplement and HAP at levels that enable eligible households to maintain basic suitable rented accommodation, having regard to the different rental market conditions across the country in particular now when supply is seriously constrained in some areas. Currently over 55,000 Rent Supplement homes are in receipt of Rent Supplemt and over 10,000 households are being provided for under the HAP at a total cost in 2016 of €247 million and €48 million respectively.

“I hope that the new limits, which are in line with recommendations from the recent report of the all- party Oireachtas Committee on Housing and Homelessness, will help people and families secure and maintain private rental accommodation and help to prevent homelessness.