My work on the voluntary working group on the housing crisis

I am a member of the voluntary group working on the housing/homelessness crisis in Kildare.  The goal of the group is to look at what can be done, now, to improve what has become a crisis of housing in Kildare.  Over 6,000 people are on the Housing List and approximately 150 homes become available in a year. What can be done?

Supply is a huge factor.  We need more social housing.  We need more immediate solutions also.  It is clear that supply is constrained because for a variety of reasons, landlords are not accepting tenants in receipt of rent supplements.  This is having a significant impact on the supply of housing in the Kildare area at a time when private demand is increasing and private tenants considered a more attractive option.

There are significant benefits for landlords, of leasing to the Council through the RAS scheme. (see below) If you are a landlord or know someone who is a landlord please ask them to consider the following information before letting their property.

Feel free to contact either myself on 086 7811012

Or the co-ordinator of the RAS scheme Shirley   045-980751

 

The Rental Accommodation Scheme RAS is an initiative to cater for the accommodation needs of certain persons in receipt of rent supplement, normally for more than 18 months and who are assessed as having a long ter, housing need. One of the main features of the scheme is that local authorities in sourcing accommodation for these households make use of the private and voluntary sector and enter into contractual arrangements to secure medium to long ter, availability of rented accommodation.

The General way RAS works

  • The local authority pays the full rent to the accommodation providers on behalf of the tenant.
  • The landlord must be tax compliant and produce a Tax Clearance certificate from Revenue Commissioners.
  • The property must meet minimum standards for private rental accommodation.
  • The landlord must register the tenancy with the Private Residential Tenancies Board.
  • The Accommodation sourced may be the rent supplement recipients existing accommodation but where this is not suitable or where the landlord is unwilling to enter into RAS the local authority sources alternative accommodation. Pending the above, rent supplement continues to be available subject to the tenant continuing to qualify for rent supplement.

One of the main benefits of RAS is the elimination of poverty traps – as it helps to provide the necessary springboard to accessing employment, training or education opportunities which may lead to broader accommodation options in the future. Tenants can stay in the scheme upon taking up full time employment unlike rent supplementation. As the tenant’s income increases a higher contribution towards the rent will be sought.

Other Benefits of RAS

 

  • Provision of an additional source of good quality rented accommodation;
  • Greater housing security for persons with long-term housing need;
  • Reduced dependency on the Supplementary Welfare Allowance scheme;
  • Contributing to the attainment of greater value for money for the State in the provision of long-term accommodation solutions;
  • Improved tenant choice and access to a wider range of housing supports in both the social housing and private housing sectors;
  • Promotion of higher standards of accommodation in the private rented sector.

Benefits to Landlord

  • If you have a good tenant, you will retain them
  • Payment for Void periods (fixed term contract only)
  • No letting or Rent Collection Costs
  • Security of income for duration of Contract
  • Damage deposit put in place by Wexford County Council