One in four house­holds in re­ceipt of HAP pay­ments needs top-up

Irish Independent - - News - Paul Melia

ONE in four house­holds in re­ceipt of the Hous­ing As­sis­tance Pay­ment (HAP) needs a top-up from lo­cal au­thor­i­ties to keep them in their homes.

New fig­ures show all coun­cils ex­cept Leitrim are us­ing dis­cre­tionary pow­ers to in­crease pay­ments to land­lords beyond ap­proved lim­its.

Two coun­cils, Mayo and Dún Laoghaire-Rath­down, show more than 70pc of ten­ants need top-ups. More than half in Fin­gal and Gal­way city also need ex­tra help.

HAP is a so­cial hous­ing sup­port where city and county coun­cils pay rent di­rectly to land­lords. Ten­ants are charged a rent based on in­come.

Lim­its are set in each lo­cal author­ity, which range from

€450 per month for a cou­ple/ sin­gle adult and three chil­dren in Long­ford, to €1,300 in the four Dublin coun­cils.

Some 36,000 house­holds are sup­ported un­der the scheme, which costs €301m a year.

The av­er­age rate of dis­cre­tionary pay­ment was 15.4pc above agreed lim­its. The max­i­mum is 20pc.

The re­port also shows that of

5,938 house­holds which ex­ited HAP ten­an­cies to date, some

1,105 trans­ferred to other forms of so­cial hous­ing pro­vided by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

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