New Housing Assistance Payment being rolled out in Clare – BREEN

June 12th, 2015 - Pat Breen

Clare T.D and Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Foreign Affairs Pat Breen has welcomed the news that the new Housing Assistance Payment will be rolled out in County Clare from the 29th June 2015.

HAP is a new form of housing support provided by local authorities. Under HAP, local authorities will make the full rent payment on behalf of the HAP recipient directly to the landlord. The HAP recipient will then pay a rent contribution to the local authority and that rent contribution is based on income and ability to pay. The Housing Assistance Payment was introduced on a phased basis in a number of local authorities including Limerick, Cork and Dublin and given the success of the scheme, it is now being rolled out to Clare County Council and it will begin on the 26th June 2015.

Speaking following confirmation of the rollout date, Deputy Breen said that “the new HAP scheme, which will allow people to work full time, is very welcome. Under this scheme the payment, which will be issued by the local authority instead of the Department of Social Protection, will be paid incrementally depending on how much the applicant earns. This will come as a relief to struggling families who are finding it increasingly difficult to find a home.”

“Presently, working families are not entitled to Rent Supplement if they work more than 30 hours per week. This seriously disadvantages hard working people who want to work full time and provide for their families. Instead, they need to join the endless local authority waiting lists and try to find private accommodation which they can feasibility afford.

Only, last February I called for consistency in the accessibility of low income applicants for Social Housing across Local Authorities, when I raised the matter in the Dail with the Minister, given that many low-income families are being forced to give up work in order to become eligible for Rent Supplement.

The introduction of this Scheme should therefore be widely welcomed as a way to tackle the housing crisis whilst also assisting families. Furthermore, it will also allow recipients of the payment to be transferred from their private rented accommodation into a local authority house should accommodation become available.”