Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) has been rolled out nationally which sees local authorities assessing your housing need including those in long term receipt of rent supplement. Under HAP the local authority will pay your rent directly to the landlord, usually on the last Wednesday of every month, and you will make your contribution to the local authority. This will depend on your income and personal circumstances. One of the benefits of HAP is that you can work full time and still get some assistance.
You will normally be responsible for sourcing your own private rented accommodation which must be within rent limits set according to your income, household size and the area you live in. You can see the relevant HAP limit for your area in the download opposite. In some situations, your local authority may be able to pay up to 20% above these limits if you are unable to find suitable accommodation within the limits.
You may also have to pay a deposit which is not provided by HAP however you may be able to get help from the Department of Social Protection.
In order for you to apply for HAP the landlord will have to::
- Complete the HAP application form
- The property will have to be inspected within 8 months to ensure it meets minimum standards
- The landlord will have to provide a tax compliance form
Private rented accommodation is a good or service under Equal Status legislation and a landlord cannot discriminate against you because you are seeking or are in receipt of a Housing Assistance Payment. If this occurs contact Threshold immediately for further assistance. This may include taking a case to the Workplace Relations Commission.
Once approved for HAP your housing need is deemed to be met however if you wish to still be considered for housing by the local authority you can apply immediately to be placed on your local authority transfer list.
Under HAP the normal landlord and tenant laws apply so, if you have a problem which you cannot resolve informally, you may be able to refer a dispute to the Residential Tenancies Board (RTB).
The HAP scheme is relatively new so if you have any difficulties please contact your nearest Threshold advice centre for further assistance.
For more information on the Housing Assistance Payment click here or contact your local authority.