Thursday, 16 November 2023
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
168. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he might review the situation whereby housing applicants on being approved for HAP are being informed that they are being removed from the housing list in which case they have no security in the event that the HAP facility falls through and they have difficulty retaining their original position on the housing list; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50480/23]
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support available for people who have a long-term housing need. Any household assessed as eligible for social housing is immediately eligible for HAP. Eligible households can source their own accommodation in the private rental sector which should be within the HAP rent limits provided to them by the local authority.
Consistent with the provisions in the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014, households in receipt of a payment under the HAP scheme are not eligible to remain on the main housing waiting list. However, acknowledging that some households on the waiting list, who avail of HAP, have expectations that they would receive a more traditional 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 a transfer list. Housing authorities offer HAP recipients the opportunity to apply to go on the transfer list at the point when their HAP application has been approved.
Local authorities are also directed that HAP recipients who apply to go on the transfer list should get full credit for the time they spent on the waiting list and be placed on the transfer list with no less favourable terms than if they had remained on the waiting list.
The practical operation of transfer lists is a matter for each local authority to manage, on the basis of its own scheme of letting priorities. The making of such schemes is a reserved function of the local authority and as such is a matter for the elected members.