Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (2005)

Róisín Shortall

Question:

2005. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the respective expenditure on the housing assistance payment and the rental accommodation scheme in each of the past five years; the number of recipients in each of the years; and the projected figures for 2019. [36669/19]

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Written answers (Question to Housing)

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a flexible and immediate housing support that is available to all eligible households throughout the State, progressively replacing Rent Supplement for those with a long term social housing need. At the end of Quarter 2 2019, there were over 48,200 households having their housing needs met through HAP.

HAP is funded through a combination of Exchequer funding and tenant differential rents. Budget 2019 increased the Exchequer funding for the HAP scheme to €422 million. This allows for the continued support of existing HAP households, and to also enable the additional 16,760 households targeted under Rebuilding Ireland to be supported by HAP in 2019, as well as supporting the roll-out of the Homeless HAP Place Finder Support Service across the country.

Details on the number of tenancy setups and Exchequer funding for HAP from 2014 to 2018, which reflect the fact that HAP was rolled out on a phased basis across local authorities between 2014 and 2017, are set out in the table below:

Year

Tenancies Set Up Each Year

Outturn €m

2014

485

€0.39m

2015

5,680

€15.64m

2016

12,075

€57.69m

2017

17,916

€152.69m

2018

17,926

€276.6m

A breakdown of the number of households supported by HAP in each local authority area is available on my Department’s website at the following link: www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision.

Data for the years 2014 to 2018 on the number and cost of tenancies funded under the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) scheme is available on my Department's website at the following link: www.housing.gov.ie/housing/social-housing/social-and-affordble/overall-social-housing-provision. The most recent RAS data reflects the number of tenancies in place at end March 2019, when there were a total of 18,697 tenancies supported under the scheme.

I am providing €134.3 million to support the cost of RAS in 2019 and this funding will go towards supporting 600 additional RAS tenancies targeted to be achieved by local authorities in 2019 and the ongoing cost of supporting continuing RAS contracts in place at the beginning of 2019. It is not possible to accurately predict the number of tenancies that will be supported by RAS at the end of 2019 as numbers in RAS vary as contracts end, tenants move on to other properties, landlords join or withdraw from the scheme, new tenancies are allocated or vacancies in contracted units are filled.

HAP and RAS continue to be key vehicles in meeting housing need and fulfilling the ambitious programme set out in the Rebuilding Ireland Action Plan for Housing and Homelessness.