Meath most expensive county for low-income renters

Eoin Ryan

A recent ESRI report “Low Income Renters and Housing Supports” found that Meath is the most expensive county in Ireland for low income renters.

The report said 293,673 of rental homes in Ireland,  making up 54% of the total amount,, receive support to cover their housing costs. Low income renters pay the most in Meath. through a combination of lower supports and higher differential rents, low-income renters in Co. Meath pay far more than elsewhere.

On top of this Ireland is the second most expensive country to live in and the cost of housing is 88% higher than the EU average according to the latest Eurostat figures.

“State supports, such as the Housing Assistance Payment, are not keeping up with the spiralling cost of renting a home, and County Meath is a particular problem,” Darren O’Rourke TD said.

This is especially an issue for those in social housing as it was found that “Meath has the highest monthly differential (rent) when it comes to the gap between state support and rental costs,” O’Rourke said. This is hugely significant.

“It means, for example, that a lone parent with two children on an annual income of €25,000, has to pay an additional €450 per month on top of HAP to rent in County Meath, while the same family would pay €252 in County Louth.”

This is an issue because there are different income assessment rules and rent rates in the country’s 31 councils.

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