Rent Supplement is a means-tested payment for certain people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources.
In the past, you could apply for Rent Supplement if you qualified for social housing support and were on the local authority’s housing list. However, people in this situation should now apply for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). People getting Rent Supplement and who have a long-term housing need are gradually being transfer to HAP. HAP will eventually replace long-term Rent Supplement.
Rent Supplement is now only available to people renting who meet specific criteria.
To qualify for Rent Supplement, the officer dealing with your case must be satisfied that, at the time of application, that you are in a bona fide tenancy and:
- Were previously in receipt of a Rent Supplement payment within 12 months of the date of application or
- Were residing in private rented accommodation (where at the commencement of the tenancy the person could have reasonably afforded the rent and has experienced a substantial change in his or her circumstances where they are now unable to pay the rent) for a period of 183 days within the preceding 12 months of the date of claim for Rent Supplement
- Rent Supplement is also available for those persons who have been residing for 183 days or more during the 12 months immediately before the application in an Institution or accommodation for homeless persons and have not been determined as qualified for social housing support by a housing authority
A protocol to assist victims of domestic violence has been established between the Department of Social Protection and Tusla. Under this protocol, if you are a victim of domestic violence you will be able to apply for Rent Supplement on referral by Tusla or by Tusla-funded service providers.
Where an application is made, Rent Supplement will be provided for an initial three months and will not require a means test. You will only be required to pay a minimum contribution towards your rent, regardless of your means, for this period.