Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Ceisteanna (1003)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

1003. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the amount of funding spent on rent support, HAP or other housing assistance schemes in lieu of local authority housing in each of the past five years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [24305/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

My Department provides housing supports through a range of delivery streams, including the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).

The HAP scheme is a flexible and immediate housing support that is available to all eligible households throughout the State and plays a vital role in housing eligible families and individuals. At the end of Quarter 1, 2019, there were over 45,900 active tenancies being supported under the HAP scheme nationally.

The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) introduced in 2005 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 rental sector to meet long-term housing need, thereby eliminating dependence on temporary income support payments, i.e. rent supplement.  In the period since RAS commenced in 2005 to the end of December 2018, some 62,095 households have been transferred from Rent Supplement to RAS and other social housing options. 

RAS continues to be an effective and secure form of social housing support and remains a significant part of the suite of social housing options currently available to those who are assessed as being in need of housing support. 

The funding provided for the two schemes since 2014 is set out in the following table.

Year 

€m

2014

133.9

2015

137.43

2016

188.7

2017

295.54

2018

419.94

As HAP is progressively replacing Rent Supplement for households with a long term housing need, the funding directed to Rent Supplement would have decreased in recent years, as funding for HAP has increased. Rent Supplement comes within the remit of my colleague, the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.