Fine Gael has called on those who rent rooms to be able to earn more without paying tax.
Dublin Mid West TD Emer Higgins, who sits on the Oireachtas housing committee, said raising the threshold would encourage more landlords to take part in the Rent-a-Room scheme.
Currently, those who participate in the scheme can earn up to €14,000 through the scheme tax-free.
This equates to an income of up to €1,166.66 per month under the scheme for a 12 month period.
Deputy Higgins said: ‘If it were to be increased to €18,000 per year, that would bring the income figure to €1,500 per month.’
We are facing “acute pressure” on the rental marketaccording to Deputy Higgins.
“It makes perfect sense for landlords to consider renting out a spare room to those in need of accommodation,” she said.
“It could also apply to older people whose children have left home and who want to increase their retirement income, or new homeowners with larger mortgages who could benefit from help from such a measure.
Not only rooms in houses or apartments can be rented under the program, but also self-contained units, such as a basement apartment or a converted garage attached to the person’s home.
“If the landlord rents a room to a student, the Department of Further and Higher Education has confirmed that this will not affect scholarship eligibility,” Deputy Higgins said.
“I think the government should run a high-profile communications campaign encouraging people to rent a room in their homes with information about the relief package and how they can claim it.”
Higher Education Minister Simon Harris said student accommodation policies needed to change to address the accommodation crisis.
In August, he said Newstalk breakfast“We need the state to do what it has done before – which is to invest in colleges building college-owned student housing.”
“I got a deal for this to happen in July, I think that’s going to be a game-changer.”
“Traditional digs — or the Rent-a-Room program, as it’s called — offer many young people the opportunity to rent a room in someone’s home.”
Room tenants do not see their social income affected by the scheme either.