Parliamentary Question for Jan O Sullivan TD
For WRITTEN ANSWER on 19th of June 2014.
To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government regarding the rental accommodation scheme, if there are any exceptions to the requirement to be on rent supplement for 18 months before qualifying for RAS; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
While in general a household must be in receipt of rent supplement for 18 months or more to qualify for the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS), the 18 month threshold is a ‘rule of thumb’ to try to distinguish between persons who are seeking a short term income support and those who have a long term housing need. Housing authorities do, on occasion, accept households on to RAS where they have been less than 18 months on rent supplement. This occurs where there are exceptional circumstances and where a long term housing need can be demonstrated. This has been applied in respect of homeless persons and for households with special needs. Bringing persons into RAS before the 18 month period has elapsed has also been applied administratively to facilitate a landlord who is bringing a number of properties across with tenants on rent supplement for different periods. It has also been used to facilitate persons moving back to employment.