Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Gorey families told to renegotiate rents or find new accommodation six weeks before Christmas

A spokesperson for local Sinn Féin has slammed the Department of Social Protection for sending out hundreds of letters to families receiving rent allowance in the Gorey town area demanding that they renegotiate their rents immediately or find new accommodation six weeks before Christmas.  Fionntán O’ Súilleabháin said that this rushed job to get those in benefit of the rent supplement entitlement in Gorey updated to the new lower criteria was the clearest indication yet that further cuts to the allowance are planned  in the budget.

Mr O’ Súilleabháin said;

“I have been contacted by many worried people today who have received letters from the Department of Social Protection informing them their rent supplement entitlement is up for review.  In some cases families will have to renegotiate their rent with the landlord immediately, and if unsuccessful, look for alternative accommodation six weeks before Christmas.”

“Where a tenant who is up for review finds that their lease agreement is up for renewal, the Department has ordered that they must renegotiate their rent to meet the new criteria immediately.  Where this is not possible the tenant must seek alternative accommodation.  The cost of the new premises should be within the new rent limits and the applicant must find it and move in within eight weeks to keep their payments.”

“It will be impossible for all the people affected by this to find alternative accommodation that meets the new criteria.  There simply isn’t enough rentable property within that price range.  A simple search of showed that there were only two properties available in the Gorey area today that meet the requirements of a single person on rent supplement within the new limits.  Where will everyone else live once these two properties are taken?”

“The government has left the onus completely on the tenant to successfully renegotiate their rents with the landlord.  They are offered no help and told very clearly that if they fail they will lose their homes and have to look for new accommodation.  All of this is happening in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  It’s like something out of a Dickens novel.”

“These review letters should be withdrawn.  Families have enough to worry about in the run up to the budget without having this hanging over their heads as well.  The government needs to address the very real problem of housing.  Adequate social housing does not exist to meet the growing demand.  It is unrealistic to believe that tenants will be able to out bargain landlords across the state without any problems.  The state needs to take part in these negotiations themselves to avoid people losing their homes.”

1 comment:

  1. they have put me on 58 euros a week , my rent is 400.00 euros i can feel myself getting homeless again , and i have no one to fight my corner . i feel very alone!