The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) was introduced for people who are receiving Rent Supplement and who have a long term housing need that cannot be funded from their income. They must have been in receipt of Rent Supplement for 18 months. The scheme is run by local housing authorities. Its aim is to provide good quality rented accommodation and to facilitate local authorities to provide longer-term housing for people who need it.
- How does RAS work?
- How will RAS benefit you?
- Who will qualify for RAS?
- Will I have to move to a new accommodation?
- What happens first?
- Can I refuse an offer of accommodation?
- Does the RAS affect my rights under the Residential Tenancies Act, 2004?
- Where can I get more information?
How does RAS work?
Under RAS your local authority will help secure a longer contract of tenancy with your existing landlord and will pay rent directly to the landlord on your behalf. You will still pay rent but you will pay it to the local authority, not to your landlord. The rent you pay will be based on your income and will be assessed in accordance with South Dublin County Council's Differential Rent Scheme.
How will RAS benefit you?
RAS will give you longer-term housing security. RAS will also ensure that the quality and standard of your private rented accommodation is adequate. Unlike Rent Supplement you may take up employment when on RAS. If you get a job you can stay in the scheme but your rent will be reassessed based on your new income.
Who will qualify for RAS?
You will qualify for the scheme if you have been receiving Rent Supplement for a minimum of 18 months and you have been assessed by the local authority as having a long-term housing need. Due to the numbers in receipt of Rent Supplement in South Dublin transfers to RAS are processed in accordance with one’s place on the Housing List.
RAS does not apply to:
- Asylum seekers
- Non-nationals who do not have leave to remain in the State permanently
Will I have to move to new accommodation?
If the accommodation in which you live meets the standards for rented houses and your landlord is willing to participate in RAS you will be able to remain in your current accommodation. Your current accommodation must be appropriate to your housing need e.g. number of bedrooms.
If your accommodation is sub-standard and/or your landlord is not willing to engage with the Scheme you will be advised in the first instance to source alternative accommodation. If your accommodation is not appropriate to your housing need you will also be advised to source alternative, appropriate accommodation.
What happens first?
When you have been in receipt of Rent Supplement for more than 18 months and your name has been reached on the Housing List, you will be contacted by South Dublin County Council to discuss your housing needs. If you are transferring to RAS in your current accommodation, arrangements will be made to inspect it and your landlord will be contacted so that negotiations regarding a contract can take place.
Can I refuse an offer of accommodation?
If you are offered accommodation under RAS, you may refuse it. However, if you refuse two offers of housing within a twelve month period, the Community Welfare Officer will be notified and your Rent Supplement may be suspended. You will not be entitled to any housing support from South Dublin County Council due to two refusals for a period of at least one year.
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For information about obtaining Rent Supplement please contact your local Community Welfare Office at the Department of Social Protection.