Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (696)

Denis Naughten


696. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if a person applies for HAP has to qualify for social housing in the county in which he or she is applying for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27833/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The flexibility of HAP as a social housing support is one of the scheme's key characteristics and was one of the primary benefits envisaged at the outset of the scheme. With this in mind, guidelines on inter authority movement were introduced in 2017 to allow for local authorities to facilitate movement of HAP households from one local authority area to another in cases where a HAP tenant, currently on a local authority waiting list, wishes to access rented accommodation with HAP support in another local authority area. Inter authority movement is subject to certain conditions.

Additional guidance issued in April 2019. Households eligible for social housing support are now provided with the opportunity to avail of HAP in any local authority area, subject, of course, to the current Social Housing Income Eligibility Bands or confirmation that the applicant's income is below the threshold in the new local authority.

Given that such flexibility facilitates better utilisation of all private rental stock for social housing purposes and supports the maximum activation potential of HAP households by removing geographical barriers to employment (such as loss of housing support or time on a transfer list), all local authorities have been requested to give appropriate consideration to these requests.

HAP tenants continue to be dealt with by their originating local authority. However, the rent limits will be those that apply in the local authority where the property is situated. The originating local authority will engage with the relevant new local authority to facilitate eligible requests for inter-authority movement.