New Housing Assistance Payment will help low income families to get suitable & affordable accommodation – DEERING.

17th June, 2014


Carlow Fine Gael TD, Pat Deering, has welcomed the new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme which he feels will assist working families on low income to find suitable  and affordable accommodation. It also includes for applicants to be assessed locally by each local authority rather than the current fractured system that involves the Department of Social Protection.

“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 afford.

“In the present economic climate with rents rising, this is proving more and more difficult. Consequently many families have to consider cutting back their hours or giving up work altogether to become eligible for Rent Supplement. This practice is soul destroying and needs to stop.

“The scheme also includes provision for rent supplement to be paid directly to landlords by local authorities. Some landlords have been reluctant to take on rent supplement tenants for fear of not been paid.

“Despite scare mongering by some opposition politicians, these changes should be widely welcomed as a way to tackle the housing crisis whilst also assisting low income families. 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.”