Rebuilding Ireland sets out that some 87,000 households will have their housing needs met by local authorities, using either the Rental Accommodation Scheme, RAS, or the Housing Assistance Payment, HAP, over the period to 2021.
Exchequer funding for HAP in 2017 is €152.7 million. This will meet the continuing costs of existing HAP households at the start of the year and support well in excess of 15,000 additional households under the scheme in 2017. Funding for the HAP in 2018 will increase to €301 million, supporting an additional 17,000 households under the scheme next year.
Funding for the RAS in 2017 is €134 million, supporting over 20,000 households under the scheme. Similar funding will be provided for 2018, providing for 600 new transfers and ongoing costs. The decreasing number of annual transfers from rent supplement to the RAS is indicative of the increasing number of transfers from rent supplement to the HAP.
Long-term leasing is also an important component of the suite of delivery options available to local authorities in meeting housing needs, the costs of which are met from my Department's Social Housing Current Expenditure Programme, SHCEP. Exchequer funding for the SHCEP in 2017 is €84 million, supporting the ongoing costs of over 8,000 homes secured from a range of delivery mechanisms. This funding also provides for new houses coming into the scheme in 2017, of which 600 are targeted to be long term leases from private owners. An allocation of €115 million has been secured for 2018 which will support ongoing costs of the programme, together with additional social housing homes coming into the scheme next year, of which 2,000 are to be delivered under long-term leasing.
Responsibility for the operation of the rent supplement scheme rests with my colleague, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.