Social welfare recipients will not have their State support affected if they rent out a room in their house, under plans to tackle the housing crisis and help Ukrainian refugees.
Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys is bringing forward measures which could see elderly people rent out vacant rooms in their homes but retain their living alone allowance.
Minister Humphreys said: “The measures I’m introducing today are about removing the barriers facing people who are in receipt of social welfare, and who may wish to let out a room in their home.
Read More:€400 a month payment for Irish homes hosting Ukrainian refugees signed off by Cabinet
“What this is about is giving people certainty.
“It’s about ensuring people who receive a welfare payment are treated in an equal manner to other taxpayers.
“And it will also assist in terms of responding to the serious challenges in finding accommodation for people arriving from Ukraine.”
The Government signed off on the plan to give €400 a month to households across the country who are accommodating Ukrainian refugees.
It will be backdated from the date a person has cared for a refugee who has fled the war and payments are expected in July.
But the measures announced by Minister Humphreys on Thursday are not just aimed at helping Ukrainian refugees.
It will also apply to someone on a welfare payment who wishes to rent out a room to non-Ukrainian nationals, thus acting as a response to the housing shortage.
Homeowners will be allowed to keep their social welfare payments and will be able to earn rent of up to €14,000 a year without their means-tested allowances being affected.
This is akin to the existing Revenue Commissioners ‘Rent a Room Relief’ scheme which has been in operation for many years.
Minister Humphreys has also secured approval to amend One Parent Family Payment rules to enable a parent arriving alone with their children from Ukraine to access the one parent family payment.
This will cover situations such as where a parent arrives with their children while their partner remains in Ukraine.
Get breaking news to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter