Tuesday, 25 May 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
242. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if persons in residential addiction treatment can still avail of the HAP scheme for a property for the duration of their stay. [27519/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 242 and 243 together.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. If a household has been deemed eligible for social housing support, it is a matter for the local authority to examine the suite of social housing supports available, including the HAP scheme, to determine the most appropriate form of social housing support for that household in the administrative area of that local authority.
HAP tenants are required to sign a rent contribution agreement to pay a weekly rental contribution to the relevant local authority, in line with the local authority’s differential rent scheme. As set out in the rent contribution agreement, this weekly rental contribution must be paid by them so that they remain eligible for the HAP scheme.
The rent contribution agreement states that “The HAP Claimant agrees to notify the local authority if the property will be vacant for a period of more than two weeks”.Local authorities should consider such notifications on a case by case basis, including where there is a need for the HAP tenant to go into hospital or into a treatment facility for addiction issues.
The day-to-day operation of the social housing system is a matter for the relevant local authority, and ultimately, it is the responsibility of the local authority, while taking a compassionate approach, to make a decision in each individual case.