Council paid €620,000 in first half of this year to private rental sector under scheme

New figures have revealed

Carlow Carlow Carlow

File photo

Carlow County Council spent over €620,000 in the first half of this year on the Rental Accommodation Scheme, new figures have revealed. 

In a Parliamentary Question, Fianna Fáil's Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing about the average monthly RAS payments for each quarter of 2019 to date.

RAS was established in 2004 and placed responsibility on local authorities to meet the accommodation needs of people in receipt of Rent Supplement for 18 months or longer, and who are assessed as having a long-term housing need.

Minister Eoghan Murphy said: "RAS provides a more structured, accommodation-based approach to the use of the private rented sector to meet long-term housing need, thereby eliminating dependence on temporary income support payments, i.e. rent supplement."

He provided details on the average monthly and quarterly expenditure under RAS for Q1 and Q2 2019 and the number of RAS tenancies in place at the end of Q1 and Q2 2019, broken down by local authority area. 

The data provided revealed that Carlow's local authority had an average expenditure of €328,990 for 499 tenancies in the first three months of 2019 with an average cost of tenancy coming to €659.30.

Payments for the second quarter of the year came to €293,342 for 493 tenancies bringing the average payment down to €595.01. 

Minister Murphy added: "RAS continues to be an effective and secure form of social housing support.

"While it remains a significant part of the suite of social housing options currently available to those who are assessed as being in need of housing support, its role as the replacement for Rent Supplement for these with a social housing need is now being increasingly fulfilled by the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme."

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