Renters relying on HAP in Dublin are still struggling as previously announced increases to the payment have yet to be put in place by the Minister for Housing, Labour Senator Rebecca Moynihan says.
The Labour housing spokesperson says it is “unbelievable that local authorities have not received communication from the Minister about the new discretionary rates despite the announcement made in June.
“Rents have soared and people are struggling,” Moynihan says.
“The HAP scheme has not been revised since 2017 so any proposed changes to take the pressure off people need to be implemented without delay.
“My concern is that the proposed discretionary rate will not go far enough.
“Analysis carried out by my office has showed that the HAP system has effectively collapsed.
“While long term, we need much more social housing built at scale, short term we need to revise the basic HAP limit to reflect the levels renters are being charged.
“In particular, single people are really struggling to find accommodation which is being reflected every month in our homeless figures.
“It’s outrageous that the Minister would make empty policy announcements when many people are fraught trying to either stay in their rented accommodation or struggling to find a suitable place to live.”
Moynihan says that the Minister should also progress the introduction of the Income Eligibility Scheme to ensure that the income limits to qualify for social housing are revised.
“Government has capacity to implement the changes to the HAP scheme without any further delay,” she says.
“The Housing Department’s capital spending is €120 million, or 21% below its profile.
“So, changes to the HAP scheme can be made, but houses must also be built to tackle the fundamental lack of supply of homes.
“The HAP scheme is totally out of kilter with the reality of the housing market.”