Friday, January 11, 2013

Cuts to rent allowance slammed by Wexford Borough Council

A motion calling on the Minister for Social Protection to urgently review the recent cuts to the rent allowance was supported unanimously by the elected representatives of Wexford Borough Council last Monday night.  The motion was put forward by Sinn Féin Cllr Anthony Kelly who described the cuts as 'drastic and detrimental to the welfare of struggling families.'

Cllr Kelly said;

"Last year the government devised new maximum rent limits for people who were availing of rent supplement.  These new limits were carelessly put together with little attention being played to actual rental prices in an area before an often unrealistic limit was set there."

"An onus was placed on tenants who received letters informing them of the new criteria to renegotiate their rent with the landlord.  The tenants were left without support even if it the negotiations led to them being forced to break their contract which could result in the loss of their security deposits.”

"Its an unfortunate legacy of the last Fianna Fail led government that adequate social housing was not devised to meet the demands of that time.  As we entered a recession the demand grew but still little effort was made to tackle the problem." 

"According to the government, Rent supplement is a temporary benefit provided to offer short-term income support to assist with reasonable accommodation costs of eligible people living in private rented accommodation who are unable to provide for their accommodation costs from their own resources and who do not have accommodation available to them from another source.  Without the availability of social housing people on rent allowance have nowhere else to go and will not be able to function without this payment."

The following is the text of Cllr Kelly's motion.  "Taking into consideration the recent Credit Union survey on Household Income I would ask this Council to call on the Minister for Social Protection to urgently review the recent and drastic cuts to the rent allowance."

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