Thursday 24th August
Galway Simon Community warns the gap between housing supports and market rent prices continue to increase, according to latest study.
The snapshot study, ‘Locked Out of the Market VIII: The Gap between Rent Supplement/HAP Limits and Market Rents’ was conducted by the Simon Communities over three days in August (1st, 2nd and 3rd). This is the second time since the first study was conducted in May 2015 that there were no properties available within the Rent Supplement/Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) over the study period.
Out of the average 22 properties available to rent in Galway City, not one of them was within the housing support limits for any of the following categories: single person, couple, couple/parent with 1 child or couple/parent with 2 children.
Bill Griffin, CEO of Galway Simon Community said the results are not surprising given the extent of the housing shortage in Galway. “Here we are, over two years on since the first Locked Out study was conducted and the situation in Galway is worse than ever. It’s almost impossible for people who are relying on housing support to find affordable accommodation. The average rent for a two-bedroom property over the study was €1,511, a 67% increase compared to the last Locked Out report (€900).
“People have no option but to turn to the private rental sector for housing as securing social housing in Galway is extremely rare and no new social housing is being built at the moment. While the Empty Homes Plan was a positive move by Minister Eoghan Murphy, more needs to be done if we’re going to tackle this crisis in Galway and across the country. The building of social housing must be accelerated and the Empty Homes Plan needs to be implemented immediately to increase the supply of affordable housing. It’s also essential that the current Rent Supplement/HAP limits are monitored and kept in line with market rents. Until these steps are taken, the number of people facing homelessness in Galway will continue to rise and be forced into emergency accommodation or onto the streets”, Bill added.
Galway Simon Community supported 392 households in the first half of the year, 292 of which accessed our homelessness prevention services and 100 were housed in our services.