Thursday, 5 May 2022
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
72. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he plans to increase the maximum rent payment under the HAP scheme in view of the fact that many HAP applicants cannot afford the rents being sought on the open market; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22158/22]
The Programme for Government commits to ensuring that Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) levels are adequate to support vulnerable households, while we increase the supply of social housing. Maximum rent limits for HAP were set for each housing authority area in 2016, in conjunction with the Department of Social Protection (DSP). In reviewing the rent limits, my Department worked closely with DSP and monitored data gathered from the Residential Tenancies Board and the HAP Shared Services Centre.
Local authorities also have the flexibility to agree to a HAP payment of up to 20% above the maximum rent limit, because of local rental market conditions and up to 50% in the Dublin region for those households either in, or at immediate risk of, homelessness.
Under Housing for All, my Department was tasked with undertaking an analytical exercise to examine whether an increase in the level of the 20% discretion available to Local Authorities under HAP is required, in order to maintain adequate levels of HAP support.
The Housing Agency undertook to carry out this analytical exercise on behalf of my Department. The review was submitted on 20 December 2021. It is undergoing analysis by my Department and I expect to receive recommendations following that analysis.