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The Saker
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Spirit of Contradiction

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Rent Allowance-More Stealth Cuts?

category national | irish social forum | other press author Sunday September 20, 2009 11:08author by Greg T - None (Independent left) Report this post to the editors

Highlighting recent changes to the rent supplement scheme as well as other disturbing developments.

As if June's cut wasn't enough, ( see: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/94053 ) waiting period of up to several months for rent allowance assessment to be completed are going to result from recent changes to the rent supplement scheme . This development may make things next to impossible for any newly unemployed without significant savings, in the meantime more and more people are undoubtedly going to become homeless.
http://www.corkindependent.com/local-news/local-news/co...nces/
(It's nice to see a Labour TD taking action on this issue). As if that isn't worrying enough, just been told by someone I know (coincidentally also in County Cork), that new Rent Allowance claims are not being processed at all in her area. This person was basically informed (informally) that her claim was a waste of time and that due to staff shortages new applications will not get seen to. Sounds suspiciously like yet another stealth on the sly cut. Meanwhile the NAMA plans to bailout the rich continue, gombeen politics as usual. If anyone else knows similar stories they need to be highlighted immediately. Affected people need to kick up a fuss or they will be (conveniently) forgotten.

Related Link: http://www.corkindependent.com/local-news/local-news/concern-about-rent-allowances/
author by shoegirlpublication date Mon Sep 21, 2009 17:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Isn't the whole point of rent allowance so that people in EXISTING rented accomodation are subsidised, not so that people who are currently receiving a social welfare payment can choose to change their existing accomodation at a whim?

That said, the changes are harsh on anybody who otherwise would be facing the scenario of having no roof under their head - for example if their landlord is selling up or if the family home is no longer a safe place for them.

Forcing low income households into the market sector should never have been a solution in the first place - accomodation should have been made available via social housing, not via giving guaranteed profits to market landlords at obscene overpriced rates and pushing up demand artificially for private rented property through engineering artificial shortages in social housing through non-provision. (But then spending billions on private sector rents instead? Doesn't even make financial sense if you take into account that the cost of housing rent subsidised households over the last 10 years has probably already far exceeded the cost of actually providing them with permanent council or housing association homes?)

The current policy of locking in this form of "non-provision" by long term leasing from private landlords is doing nothing more than subsidizing the worst kind of profiteering landlords.

 
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