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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 19 June, 2019
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39 families were made homeless in July in Dublin alone

Focus Ireland say that many are losing homes because of the failure of the rent supplement scheme.

Image: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

THE NUMBER OF families being made homeless in Dublin has risen above one a day, a leading homeless charity has said.

Focus Ireland says that 39 families a month are being made homeless in the capital alone.

The figures were announced as the charity made a submission to the Department of Social Protection’s ‘Review of Rent Supplement Levels’. The Focus Ireland submission calls for rent supplement payments to match real rent levels to help prevent families and individuals from losing their homes.

The charity’s submission also warns that the government’s rent review process is fatally flawed and won’t solve the problem.

Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy Mike Allen said: “Our figures for July show that 39 families – more than one family a day – lost their home and became homeless in Dublin last month alone. Many of these families lost their homes because the rent supplement system failed them.

“A lot of the families that are becoming homeless and others we are supporting to try to prevent them losing their homes have been forced to top-up the rent supplement to meet the market cost of rent as the rent supplement doesn’t cover the rent. Paying this top-up month on month is clearly not sustainable and it just pushes families deeper into debt and nearer to homelessness.”

Focus Ireland said the government must raise rent supplement rates to stop the rise in the number of families losing their homes as they can’t afford to pay their rent.

Focus Ireland also warned that the Department of Social Protection review itself is fatally flawed and will end up perpetuating the problem unless a different approach is taken.

The charity’s submission calls for the Department to revise the way rent caps are decided and set them based on the real average rent for each area and not for the lowest third of the market.

The housing charity called for the review to be completed promptly and the decision implemented on Budget day. The charity said the Government also needs to bring in greater rent regulation to provide greater security for tenants and the tax payer by keeping rents in line with inflation.

Read: One family a day is becoming homeless in Dublin

Read: Dublin Mayor: It’s ‘bullsh*t’ gardaí can’t take in homeless under-18s without social worker

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