Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South Central Michael McGrath has called on the Tánaiste and Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton TD to extend the tenancy protection scheme, operated by Threshold in conjunction with the Department of Social Protection, to the suburbs adjoining Cork City. The scheme is aimed at keeping families, who are at risk of becoming homeless, in their homes. The scheme was recently extended to Cork City but does not cover Cork County. The tenancy protection scheme, which is operated by the housing charity Threshold and the Department of Social Protection, enables households in the private rented sector and in receipt of rent allowance, to seek an increase where they face rent increases they cannot meet. The service has operated in Dublin since June last year.
Deputy McGrath made the comments in light of the growing housing crisis affecting large suburbs adjoining Cork City such as Douglas, Togher, Carrigaline and Passage West.
Deputy McGrath commented, “In recent months we have seen a growing trend emerge whereby the rising cost of rents in large suburbs adjoining Cork City are putting families at risk of becoming homeless. The fact of the matter is that rents in many parts in Cork – not just in the city – have outstripped the rent supplement thresholds set by the department and this has created massive problems. In addition, the rental market now is very much a landlord’s market and persons dependent on rent supplement are at a distinct disadvantage.
“When you examine the current rental prices across Cork, it is clear that the accommodation crisis is as severe in the suburbs as it is in the city. I am calling on the Tánaiste to extend the tenant protection scheme to the suburbs adjoining the city. The only long term solution to ending the accommodation crisis in Cork is for an increase in housing supply for people on low and middle incomes. However, in the short to medium term Tánaiste Burton must take steps to protect vulnerable families who are at risk of becoming homeless due to rising rents. Extending the tenant protection scheme across Cork is one way that this can be achieved and the government must sanction its extension without delay” said Deputy McGrath.