Housing Assistance Payment now rolled out to Dublin
Mr Simon Coveney T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, today announced the completion of the nationwide rollout of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme with its introduction to the administrative areas of Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council and Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, delivering on another key action under Rebuilding Ireland: An Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.
The effect is that eligible households in all 31 Local Authority areas can now avail of an immediate form of social housing support, with €153 million being made available for the scheme in 2017.
“The availability of HAP means that all Local Authorities can provide housing support to many more households with a long-term housing need.“
“The rollout of HAP to Dublin is the hugely significant milestone in the development of this new social housing support. The availability of HAP means that all Local Authorities can provide housing support to many more households with a long-term housing need, including many long-term Rent Supplement recipients, as well as households who may not be eligible for Rent Supplement but who are struggling with the cost of rent. As well as removing a barrier to employment, by allowing recipients to remain in the scheme if they gain full-time employment, the HAP scheme improves regulation of the rented accommodation being supported and it provides certainty for landlords as regards their rental income” said the Minister.
The Minister also acknowledged that “while the level of supply in the rental market is challenging in some areas, HAP continues to offer many families stable and supported social housing. For example, every week more than 45 homeless households are having their housing needs supported by the scheme across Dublin and 20 other families in the South Dublin area.”
There are currently more than 18,000 households receiving HAP support; over a third of these households have transferred from the Rent Supplement scheme. Over 10,000 landlords are taking part in the scheme with approximately 300 households joining the scheme every week.
“Over 10,000 landlords are taking part in the scheme with approximately 300 households joining the scheme every week.“
The Minister concluded by saying: “The increases made available since July 2016 to the maximum rent limits underpinning the HAP scheme together with the additional protections provided to tenants in recent amendments to the Residential Tenancies Acts, means that HAP can and will continue to offer families long-term support and access to good quality housing in communities of their choice.”
The Minister also announced the launch of a new dedicated HAP website (www.hap.ie), the purpose of which is to provide a single national point of information on the HAP scheme for both landlords and tenants, before contacting the relevant Local Authority.
The Five Pillars
The Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness includes a comprehensive Five Pillar approach – these pillars are the foundations upon which we will build our plan. They are open to debate, additions and amendments, but for now they will be our starting point for immediate action.
This is an initiative of the Government of Ireland