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Up to €14,000 can be earned in rent by social welfare recipients under newly agreed rules

The change means that social welfare payments will not be impacted for earning rental income under €14,000.

Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys
Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys
Image: Leah Farrell

PEOPLE ON SOCIAL welfare will be able to earn up to €14,000 a year in rent without it impacting on their payments, the Minister for Social Protection has announced.

The new measure is part of efforts to remove barriers facing social welfare recipients who wish to rent out a room in their home without impacting their means-tested payments.

The scheme was announced today by Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys, who said that she had received Cabinet approval for the new measures.

The change means that anyone on any kind of social welfare will be able to rent out a room in their home for up to €14,000 a year.

Both the Fuel Allowance and Household Benefits package are set to be included in the new measures.

Humphreys also announced changes to the Living Alone Allowance, where people living alone could rent out a room in their home without having their allowance impacted.

This change will impact 209,000 people who currently receive the Living Alone Allowance, with Humphreys saying it is an important change due to the refugee crisis caused by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Humphreys said that these measures were worked on for months, but that the war in Ukraine “brought a new urgency to this situation”.

“These measures also reflect our overriding desire to ensure rooms that are available in homes across the country are freed up for potential tenants. Where there are barriers or anomalies in place, it is up to us to remove them,” said Humphreys in a statement.

It comes as Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien instructed local authorities to allow social housing tenants to accommodate Ukrainian refugees in their homes if they choose to do so.

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It was also announced that any families who do take in Ukrainian refugees will be able to access a €400 a month payment, but that they must opt-in to receive it.

The payment itself was agreed at Cabinet on Tuesday, with it being a flat €400 regardless of how many refugees a household chooses to take in.

Earlier this week, The Journal reported that Irish universities would be offering student accommodation to Ukrainian refugees on a temporary basis, with 4,500 beds being secured from both public and private accommodation providers.

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Tadgh McNally

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