THE number of people needing help from the State to pay their rent has risen by more than 50pc in just over 18 months.
Now the Department of Social and Family Affairs expects to pay out almost half a billion euro this year to subsidise rent payments.
There are more than 91,000 people in receipt of Rent Supplement, an increase of 53pc since December 2007, new figures reveal.
The benefit is paid to people living in private rented accommodation who cannot provide for the cost of their accommodation from their own resources.
In general, people qualify for the payment if their only income is a social welfare or Health Services Executive (HSE) payment.