Thursday, 21 November 2019

Ceisteanna (263)

Darragh O'Brien

Ceist:

263. Deputy Darragh O'Brien asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of households that have left the housing assistance payment scheme per annum from 2015 to 2018 and to date in 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48346/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) plays a vital role in housing eligible families and individuals. At the end of Q2 2019, over 62,700 HAP tenancies had been set-up since the scheme commenced, of which there were more than 48,000 households actively in receipt of HAP support and over 28,000 separate landlords and agents providing accommodation to households supported by the scheme.

HAP supported tenancies are agreed between the landlord and the tenant. It is important to note that the local authority is not a party to the tenancy and has no role in its agreement. There is no limitation placed by the scheme on the length of tenancy that can be supported by HAP. However, as with other private rental tenancies, the Residential Tenancies Act 2004 (as amended) governs the relationship between landlord and tenant and the length of the tenancy is a matter that must be agreed between the landlord and tenant in that context.

At the end of Q2 2019, a total of 14,478 households were reported on the HAP Shared Services Centre system as having exited HAP. This included tenant led exits; compliance exits; transfers to other forms of social housing; and landlord exits. This report is based on cessations, as submitted by local authorities.

Details of the number of Closed/Exit Tenancies by year, are set out in the following table.

Year

No. of Closed/Exit Tenancies

2015

312

2016

1,425

2017

3,181

2018

5,711

2019 (Q2)

3,849 (Q2)

Total

14,478

In cases where a HAP supported tenancy ends, the tenant can find alternative accommodation and retain their eligibility for HAP support or the local authority may decide to offer another form of social housing support to the tenant in accordance with their scheme of letting priorities.

My Department continues to keep the operation of the HAP scheme under review. In general, I am satisfied with the operation of the HAP and I consider it to be a key vehicle for meeting housing need and fulfilling the ambitious programme outlined under Rebuilding Ireland.