Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Ceisteanna (762, 763)

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

762. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government if rent increases for existing HAP tenants are allowed to exceed the HAP limits; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26688/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Denis Naughten

Ceist:

763. Deputy Denis Naughten asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of persons at the maximum rate of the HAP limits in each local authority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [26689/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 762 and 763 together.

Under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme, tenants source their own accommodation. The accommodation sourced by tenants should be within the prescribed maximum HAP rent limits, which are based on household size and the rental market within the area concerned.

Each local authority has statutory discretion to agree to a HAP payment up to 20% above the prescribed maximum rent limit in circumstances where it is necessary, because of local rental market conditions, to secure appropriate accommodation for a household that requires it. It is a matter for the local authority to determine if the application of the flexibility is warranted on a case by case basis.

Information in relation to number of HAP recipients benefitting from discretionary increases and the average level of discretion, as well as average landlord payment by local authority, at the end of Quarter 1 2019, is set out in the following table:

Local Authority

Total No

No of tenancies not requiring Discretion

No. of Tenancies availing of discretion

Average level of discretion %

Average landlord Payment By LA

Carlow County Council

691

524

167

16.6%

554

Cavan County Council

297

252

45

20.0

455

Clare County Council

1,320

847

473

19.0

465

Cork City Council

2,123

1,149

974

15.4

774

Cork County Council

3,379

2,901

478

17.3

737

Donegal County Council

1,712

1,665

47

19.4

394

Dublin City Council

2,642

1,685

957

13.7

1,292

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown Co Council

444

92

352

17.4

1,359

Fingal County Council

1,434

635

799

14.3

1,340

Galway City Council

1,448

571

877

15.5

807

Galway County Council

1,041

817

224

15.9

711

Kerry County Council

984

570

414

18.1

516

Kildare County Council

1,996

1,110

886

14.4

921

Kilkenny County Council

861

762

99

18.8

578

Laois County Council

701

450

251

18.6

581

Leitrim County Council

219

213

6

20

414

Limerick City and Co Co

2,201

2,008

193

17.8

584

Longford County Council

295

224

71

17.4

408

Louth County Council

2,769

2,286

483

17.2

846

Mayo County Council

1,147

224

923

17.7

506

Meath County Council

1,792

735

1,057

15.3

937

Monaghan County Council

545

279

266

18.6

490

Offaly County Council

854

677

177

17.3

515

Roscommon County Council

367

300

67

17.8

457

Sligo County Council

671

642

29

16.8

506

South Dublin Co Council

2,690

2,526

164

14.9

1,230

Tipperary County Council

1,764

1,371

393

18.4

492

Waterford City and County Council

1,818

1,486

332

18.2

513

Westmeath County Council

701

541

160

16.6

559

Wexford County Council

1,069

802

267

16.3

527

Wicklow County Council

1,011

777

234

16.3

1,005

Total

40,986

29,121

11,865

16.3

817 Average

Additional discretion of up to 50% above rent limits is available to assist in housing homeless households in the Dublin Region. The additional discretion available to homeless households recognises the difficulty this cohort of households face in sourcing and securing properties in a highly competitive rental market.

The table below provides details on the use of discretion in the Dublin local authority areas, including the Dublin Region Homeless Executive:

Overall No. of Tenancies

No. of DRHE Tenancies

Number in receipt of discretion

Average rate of discretion %

Dublin City Council

5,536

2,894

3,851

32.3

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

645

201

533

25.7

Fingal County Council

1,962

528

1,327

23.7

South Dublin Co Council

3,358

668

832

34.5

At the end of Q1 2019, 35.7% of the total number of households being supported by HAP were benefitting from the additional flexibility. When the additional discretion available to homeless households in the Dublin region is removed, 28.9% of households nationally were benefitting from the additional flexibility. In those cases, the average rate of discretionary payment being used was 16.3% above rent limits provided. This increases to 22.2% when the Dublin region homeless area data is included.

I continue to keep the operation of HAP under review but I am currently satisfied with how the scheme is operating and I consider it to be a key vehicle for meeting current housing need and fulfilling the ambitious programme set out in Rebuilding Ireland.