They found there were just 672 properties available to rent at any price within 16 areas  over the three dates surveyed. This is a drop of 85 properties (11 per cent) on the number available (757) in the Report from December 2022. Yet again, the majority of these are to be found in Dublin, 472 or 70 per cent of the total. Limerick, both city and suburbs had only four properties in each and only three properties were found in Portlaoise. Of the 16 areas studied, only Athlone, Galway City suburbs, Sligo Town and surprisingly, Portlaoise recorded an increase in the availability of properties with the other 12 areas recording a decrease.
Availability of properties at HAP limits
The report notes that for only the second time in the 29 reports to date, there were no properties available within a standard HAP rate across the four household types.  A mere 29 properties were found within a discretionary HAP rate.  This is the lowest number of HAP properties recorded by the Locked Out of the Market series.
Social Housing, not Social Housing Supports
The Housing Assistance Payment is not delivering as a form of social housing support. It is not providing choice, security or affordability. The lack of availability means that either the tenant or Local Authority ends up paying more than expected, or allowed for, within their respective budgets. For those who cannot make up that difference, homelessness is the most likely outcome. The private rented sector is not the solution to a public housing crisis. In fact, a 2019 Report by Focus Ireland found that 70 per cent of families accessing emergency accommodation in Dublin in 2019 came from the private rented sector. As the numbers of those having to access emergency and homeless accommodation, continues to rise, more needs to be done to ensure secure, sustainable, affordable housing is available to all.
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. We estimate the real numbers in housing need are closer to 133,000. To achieve the target of 20 per cent by 2030, Government must double its Housing for All targets at an additional cost of €1.4bn, meaning the overall construction budget would be closer to €3bn in 2023. 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.