THERE were just four properties available in Cork city centre and suburbs in the month of March which would have come within the standard Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) rate.
That is according to the latest Simon Communities of Ireland Locked Out report.
The report found there were 2,757 properties available to rent at any price within the 16 areas nationally over three dates surveyed in March 2021, including Cork city centre and the city suburbs.
This represents an 8.7% decrease from properties available during the December study.
Overall, there were just 72 (2.6%) instances of those properties coming within a standard HAP rate in one of the four household categories.
The rest of the properties within HAP rates required the discretionary top-up.
The report noted how the Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions have brought about some change in the Irish private rental market in 2020, however “an underlying chronic lack of affordable supply persists.”
Limerick city centre had just one property that came within a HAP limit, and Cork city centre, Cork city suburbs, Galway city centre and Galway city suburbs each had just two properties that came within a HAP limit.
There was an average of 105 properties to rent in Cork city centre over the course of the study period, a decrease of 21 properties on those available in the December 2020 study.
Just two of these properties were within standard or discretionary HAP rates across the four household categories.
This was a decrease from seven properties in the December study.
According to the report, Cork city centre saw one of the most substantial decreases in the number of properties available within HAP rates across the 16 areas, with a decrease of 71% in comparison to December.
In Cork city suburbs, there was a total average of 51 properties to rent compared to 72 in the December report.
Of the 51 properties, just two came within at least one of the HAP standard or discretionary rates across the four household categories.
This was a decrease of 50% when compared to December.
In six of the 16 areas, there were no properties available to rent in any category within standard or discretionary Housing Assistance Payment HAP limits.
Of the 2,757 properties available during the period, just one property (one-bedroom unit) was within standard HAP limits for single people across the 16 areas.
There were eight two-bedroom units within standard HAP rates for a couple/one parent and one child across all 16 study areas.
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