Budget 2018: Rent allowance increases

By Arthur Velker

Credit: TheJournal.ie

Rent allowance will increase by €149m next year in order to accommodate over 17,000 more homes, said Minister for Finance Paschal O’ Donoghue.
The increase in the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), which is replacing long-term
Rent Supplement, was announced as part of yesterday’s budget, held in the Dail.
“We recognise that many people living in a private rent sector want to move into their
own home, but are unable to do so,” said O’Donoghue.
Housing and rent rates have been an anticipated topic in this year’s budget due to their
substantial increases in the past five years.
Rent rates have been growing year-on- year with an increase of around 13 percent and
now stand at an average of €1,111 per month – an all-time high.
Recently, rent prices in rural areas have been accelerating, with the cause being
attributed to landlords’ fears of having price caps imposed on them by the government,
as is currently the case in rent-pressure zones.
Rent-pressure zones are classified as urban, built-up areas with high population rates or
commuter counties – in which rents are not permitted to rise above 4 percent annually.
The initial rental cap plan was introduced by the former Minister for Housing, Simon