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HAP rates should be reviewed, says Dublin West TD

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has been called on to review the HAP rates across the state after it was revealed that 34.47 percent of those on HAP in Fingal are receiving the maximum top-up of 20 percent.

Sinn Fein TD for Dublin West, Paul Donnelly said: “There are a number of key issues here.

“HAP rates are particularly low for single people and this has long been raised as an issue.

“It is near impossible to rent a property within the HAP limits as a single person in Dublin West.

“The other HAP rates clearly need to be reviewed.

“Currently, there are 1,999 people on HAP in Fingal (this doesn’t include those on homeless HAP).

“Of these, 1,220 are in receipt of a discretionary top-up. 34.47% of these are in receipt of the maximum top-up of 20%.

“This shows that the HAP rates are not reflective of the rental market currently.2

Deputy Donnelly said that introducing a rent freeze would help solve the problem.

“We need to see a real ban on rent increases. We need to see a full roll-out of Homeless HAP because currently this only operates in Dublin but there’s homeless people across the state.

“According to the Daft Q4 2020 report, the average rent in Fingal is €1.734.00 and rising, the reality is that this is higher in Dublin West,” he says.

“There is a significant problem coming down the road for those on the maximum 20% top up, we know people are paying cash top-ups and that this is putting them under serious financial strain.

“If they stay in that property for at least two years, then they will be subject to rent increases.

“This will put them under further financial strain and put them at risk of homelessness or increasing debt as they will have maxed out on any further help from the HAP scheme.

“Minister Darragh O’Brien has in the past agreed that these limits need to be reviewed and that they are not meeting the needs of people.

“It’s time for him to start acting on his promises.”

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