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Concern over long delays for HAP applications

A local councillor has expressed concern about long delays to HAP applications in South Dublin County Council.

People Before Profit councillor Madeleine Johansson made the comments after the October Council meeting on Monday.

Councillor Johansson said that because a tenant has to source their property before applying for Housing Assistance Payment the delays mean that those waiting are struggling to pay their rents.

A reply to a question submitted by Councillor Johansson revealed that tenants have been waiting up to an average of 91 days (March 2020) with the lowest average waiting time in 2020 being 40 days (June).

Currently people are waiting 8-10 weeks to have their applications processed.

An emergency motion to allocate additional resources to clear the backlog was ruled out of order at the meeting.

“I’m deeply concerned about the long delays to HAP applications at the moment,” Councillor Johansson said.

“Tenants are often unaware that there is a delay and because of the extremely high rents they are unable to pay their landlords.

“I’ve had two women contact me recently who are in this situation and are fearful of losing their newly found homes.

“The purpose of HAP is to allow people on low incomes to access private rented accommodation, however this becomes extremely difficult when the application process is too long.

“I submitted an emergency motion to this months council meeting to ask the Council to allocate additional resources to deal with this, however I’m very disappointed that the motion was ruled out of order.

“I was told that it was not regarded as an emergency, however for those tenants fearful of losing their homes it’s absolutely an emergency.

“I’m calling on the Council to immediately clear the backlog of HAP applications to relieve the stress of those anxiously waiting for approval.”

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