Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
Local Authority Housing Waiting Lists
525. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government further to the findings of a report (details supplied), the number of households that have relinquished their place on the housing waiting list due to the fact they are in receipt of HAP; the number of those that sought to be placed on a housing transfer list; the number of households on this transfer list; the status of the transfer list vis-à-vis the social housing list, by local authority, in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51947/17]
Following the commencement of the provisions in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014, the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme is considered to be a social housing support and consequently households in receipt of a HAP payment are not eligible to remain on the main housing waiting list. However, acknowledging that households on the waiting list who avail of HAP might have expectations that they would receive an allocated form of social housing support, Ministerial directions have issued to ensure that, should they so choose, HAP recipients can avail of a move to other forms of social housing support, through the transfer list.
Following the completion of the HAP roll-out in early 2017, a Ministerial direction was issued instructing local authorities to continue to offer HAP tenants access to other forms of social housing, through the transfer list.
The practical operation of transfer lists is a matter for each local authority to manage, on the basis of their own scheme of letting priorities. The setting of such schemes is a reserved function of the local authority and as such is a matter for the elected members. It is ultimately up to the household to choose if they wish to be placed on a local authority’s transfer list, and I understand that the majority of HAP households do avail of this option. Since its statutory commencement in September 2014, 975 households (at the end of Q3 2017) have transferred from the HAP scheme to other forms of social housing support.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. There are currently over 30,000 households in receipt of HAP and over 20,000 separate landlords and agents providing accommodation to households supported by the scheme.
My Department does not hold information on the number of households on local authority housing transfer lists. The management of these lists is a matter for individual local authorities and the numbers fluctuate continually as, for example, households are granted transfers, in accordance with an authority’s allocation scheme, to take up other accommodation options.