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. Applicants must have been in receipt of Rent Supplement for 18 months.
The scheme is run by Westmeath County Council for both eligible tenants in private rented accommodation and on those on the Social Housing List, and to provide good quality rented accommodation and facilitate local authorities to provide longer-term housing for people who need it.
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 Differential Rent, which is currently assessed as 12% of your income.
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.
You will qualify for the scheme as an In Situ Tenant 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.
No, tenancies funded by the Rental Accommodation Scheme are governed by The Residential Tenancies Amended Act, 2015.
Landlords must initiate the RAS application in Westmeath County Council. Please direct your landlord to the informamation leaflet (RAS) .