Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Questions (563, 579)

Clare Daly

Question:

563. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the expenditure in each of the years 2016, 2017 and to date in 2018 on RAS, HAP and all other housing payments to landlords being paid rent through one or other of the schemes for categories of units (details supplied). [27433/18]

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Clare Daly

Question:

579. Deputy Clare Daly asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the expenditure by his Department on rent supplement payments including RAS, HAP and all other housing payments to landlords being paid rent through one or other of these schemes for units (details supplied), respectively in each of the years 2016, 2017 and to date in 2018, in tabular form; and the housing estates and apartment complexes in which more than 10% of units are in receipt of the respective types of rent supplement. [27470/18]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 563 and 579 together.

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is now available to all eligible households throughout the State. There are currently more than 37,000 households having their housing needs met via HAP and some 21,000 separate landlords and agents currently in receipt of monthly HAP payments.

Limerick City and County Council provides a highly effective HAP transactional shared service on behalf of all local authorities. This HAP Shared Services Centre (SSC) manages all HAP related rental transactions for the tenant, local authority and landlord. Accordingly, my Department does not recoup individual local authorities in respect of HAP rental payments in their administrative areas but rather recoups all landlord costs via the HAP SSC.

The HAP scheme is funded through a combination of Exchequer monies and tenant differential rents collected in respect of HAP tenancies.  Budget 2018 has increased the Exchequer funding for the HAP scheme to €301 million, in order to meet the continuing costs of existing HAP households, and the costs of the additional 17,000 households, targeted under Rebuilding Ireland, to be supported by HAP in 2018.

The Exchequer outturn for the HAP scheme in 2016 to 2017 and the 2018 spend to date, are as follows: 

Year  

Target  

Additional Households supported at end of year  

No. of LAs operating HAP Scheme  

Outturn - €M  

2016

12,000

12,075

28

€57.69m

2017

15,000

17,916

31

€152.69

2018 (to date)

17,000

8,409

31

€117m

     

The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) was established in 2004 and placed responsibility on local authorities to meet the accommodation needs of people in receipt of Rent Supplement for 18 months or longer, and who are assessed as having a long-term housing need.  RAS has provided a more structured, accommodation-based approach to the use of the private rented sector to meet long-term housing need, thereby eliminating dependence on temporary income support payments, i.e. rent supplement.

The table sets out the data available in relation to funding provided by my Department to local authorities under the Rental Accommodation Scheme in 2016 and 2017. Funding provided by my Department includes the continuing cost of contractual agreements made by local authorities with landlords under the Scheme and the additional cost of new tenancies that are secured during that year.

Year  

Target  

Additional Tenancies supported at end of year  

No. of LAs operating RAS Scheme  

Exchequer Allocation - €M  

Outturn - €M  

2016

 1,000

 1,256

31

 131

 145*

2017

 1,000

   890

31

 142.8

 144.3**

        

* An additional €13.89m in RAS recoupment claims was offset against local authority RAS Reserves in 2016

** An additional €1.38m in RAS recoupment claims was offset against local authority RAS Reserves in 2017

 

The 2018 budgetary provision is €134 million and will support approximately 19,900 continuing RAS contracts, and the cost of a further 600 tenancies to transfer from rent supplement in 2018 in line with the Rebuilding Ireland targets. Expenditure to 31/05/2018 amounted to €42.7 million. From 2018 onwards, annual RAS targets are reducing to take account of the increasing focus on rent supplement transfer to HAP.

My Department does not collect data in the manner outlined, including in respect of the numbers of housing estates and apartment complexes in which more than 10% of units are in receipt of housing support.