housing support 57,000 now getting Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) towards rent
THE number of households receiving the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) rose to 57,630 last year.
The scheme is a form of social housing support provided by all local authorities, and the numbers claiming it have climbed every year since it was introduced six years ago.
It involves local authorities making a monthly payment to a landlord on behalf of the HAP tenant, subject to rent limits.
In return, the tenant pays a contribution toward the rent to the local authority based on the household income.
A new Central Statistics Office (CSO) report found 44pc of HAP tenants spent less than a year on the local authority housing waiting list before entering the scheme, while 12pc waited seven years.
Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Cork County Council and South Dublin County Council had the largest numbers of new households entering the HAP scheme last year.
Dublin had 498 households with a single person and one child and 458 with a single person.
Fingal had 325 households with a single person and one child, with 267 in South Dublin and 243 in Cork.
"The most common employment sectors for new entrants to HAP in 2019 were the wholesale and retail trade, which accounted for 19pc of working HAP tenants," CSO statistician Justin Anderson said.
"The next highest was accommodation and food services at 16pc.
"The least common employment sectors for tenants starting HAP in 2019 included agriculture, forestry and fishing, information and communication and public administration and defence."
The proportion of new HAP households who have been referred from homeless services rose steadily from 3.1pc in 2014 to 21pc last year.
The electoral areas with most HAP properties in the second quarter of last year were Dundalk south (857) and Drogheda urban (816).
The local authority with the highest proportion of rental properties registered with the Residential Tenancy Board (RTB) that were used for HAP was Louth, with nearly 42pc
More than 85pc of HAP landlords had one HAP rental property last year.
The main household types entering a HAP tenancy in 2019 were a single person with one child (3,550) and a single person (3,180), according to the report entitled Social Housing in Ireland 2019 - Analysis of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) Scheme.
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