Challenges to Overcoming Homelessness

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Is Private Rented Accommodation the solution?

The Rental Accommodation Scheme is one in which a payment is provided to people who are experiencing temporary difficulties in paying their rent, as a result of, for example, the loss of a job. It was originally devised as a short-term income maintenance payment. Now, due to the lack of social housing available, it is the main scheme used to deal with the number of people who cannot afford to buy or rent a place to live.

In 2013, there were almost 80,000 people in receipt of rent supplement under this scheme.

But Rent Supplement isn't a long-term solution to housing needs. To tackle this, the government has introduced the Housing Assistance Payment which will address this need. This was introduced in 2014.

Some landlords do not accept rent supplement and so the flats and bed-sits available to people with rent supplements are often very small, poor quality and unsuitable for their needs.

It is also a very expensive approach. In 2013, the Rental Accommodation Scheme cost the state more than €370 million.