Locked Out of the Market - Just 3 per cent of all properties examined in study were within HAP limits

Posted on Monday, 22 January 2024
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Locked Out of the Market is a quarterly report published by the Simon Communities of Ireland based on a snapshot survey conducted over three consecutive days. This latest version published in December 2023, covers three days in December 2023 and uses data from Daft.ie (an Irish property website that lists the asking prices for properties to both rental and buy) to track the number of properties advertised to rent that fall within Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) limits.


Availability of properties at Housing Assistance Payment limits

The December 2023 report found 1149 properties available to rent at any price within the 16 study areas over the three dates surveyed. This is a 28 per cent (248 units) increase on the 901 properties that were found to be available in the September 2023 Locked Out report. Of these, only 33 were available within HAP limits and only two within standard HAP limits. In Dublin the discretionary rate allows up to an additional 50 per cent of the standard rate and 35 per cent elsewhere in the country.

As noted in previous reports, the majority of the properties available within the HAP limits, 25 of the 33 were found in Dublin. Only four of the areas surveyed outside of Dublin had properties available within discretionary HAP limits. These were Cork City Centre (two properties), Dundalk (four properties), Galway City Suburbs (one property) and Waterford City Centre (one property). Nine of the 16 study areas had no HAP properties available to rent in any household category within standard or discretionary limits. These were Athlone, Cork City Suburbs, Galway City Centre, Kildare (selected areas), Leitrim, Limerick City Suburbs, Limerick City Centre, Sligo Town, and Portlaoise.


Options for Households

Single Persons and Couples

There were NO properties available to single persons or couples through a standard HAP rate. 10 properties were found available when the discretionary HAP rates were applied. Five properties were in Dublin City North, three were in Dublin City South, one was in Dublin City Centre, and one was in Waterford City Centre.

Couple/One Parent with One Child

Only two properties were available to families with one child through a standard HAP rate. Both of these were located in Cork City Centre. 16 properties were available within discretionary HAP rates. Three were located in Dublin City North, 10 were in Dublin City South, one was in Dublin City Centre, and two were in Dundalk.

Couple/One Parent with Two Children

Again, only two properties were found for families with two children using the standard rate. 21 properties were available within discretionary HAP rates. Almost all properties overlap with properties available to families with one child. The five additional properties available for families with two children were located in Galway City Suburbs, Dundalk, Dublin City North and Dublin City South.

Simon Locked out of market Dec 2023 graphic

Double Social Housing Stock by 2030

Other European countries which we would like to emulate have a social housing stock that is 20 per cent of their overall housing stock compared to 9 per cent in Ireland. The real need for social housing is under reported as those in HAP tenancies, DSGBV refuges, Direct Provision and many at risk of losing their home due to mortgage arrears are not included. To achieve the target of 20 per cent by 2030, Government must double its Housing for All targets. This investment will require a skilled workforce. Inclusion of a new construction apprenticeship programme whereby one in every fifteen is required to be an apprentice earning at least the Living Wage must form part of any rebuilding scheme. This would also result in an additional 60,000 properties, currently being used as social housing, entering the private rented sector for use by private tenants.