No HAP properties available to rent in Limerick City or suburbs, report shows

Stock photo.

LIMERICK had no properties available to rent within Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) limits in September, according to new figures released by the Simon Communities of Ireland.

The latest Locked Out of the Market report showed that none of the seven properties available in Limerick City suburbs in September, and 10 properties in the city centre, fell within the HAP limits.

Under the HAP scheme, the local authority aims to help tenants who find themselves unable to pay market rents with the cost of rental accommodation.

HAP limits for a single person or a couple in Limerick City suburbs is €450, while for a couple or single parent with one child it is €650. For a single parent or couple with more than one child, the limit is €700 per month.

According to the report, across the three days of the study, rents in the suburbs ranged from €1,820 for a one bedroom apartment, to €2,520 for a two bedroom property.

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In the City Centre, rents for a one-bed unit ranged from €1,800 to €1,820.

For two bedroomed properties in the city centre, rents ranged from €1,800 to €2,400, and for three bedroomed properties, the average rents ranged from €1,700 to €1,915.

Nationally, just 27 properties were available within HAP limits in the areas surveyed by the Locked Out of the Market report.

This is the lowest number since the Locked Out of the Market reports began.

A total of 901 properties were available in the 16 areas surveyed by the report, including Cork City Centre, Cork City Suburbs, Dublin City Centre, Dublin City North, Dublin City South, Galway City Centre, Galway City Suburbs, Limerick City Centre, Limerick City Suburbs, Portlaoise, Kildare, Athlone, Sligo Town, Dundalk, County Leitrim, and Waterford City Centre.

Only three properties were available within standard HAP limits, with the rest falling under discretionary rates.

Wayne Stanley, Executive Director at the Simon Communities of Ireland, said: “Our latest Locked Out of the Market report is further evidence for what the Simon Communities across Ireland are seeing on the front line of this crisis.”

“It is getting harder and harder to find rental accommodation in Ireland. This is one of the main drivers of the growing level of homelessness in Ireland.

“It demands a greater response from Government, including, in the first instance, an increase in the HAP rates. This is not a long-term or even a medium-term solution, but it would relieve pressure on those most vulnerable to homelessness.”

“In the medium term, we need to see the Government working with local authorities to increase the allocation of public housing to those stuck in homelessness so that we see the number of exits increasing. The implementation of the Simon Homeless Prevention Bill to prevent homelessness in the first instance is long overdue,” he concluded.