Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Ceisteanna (734)

Richard Boyd Barrett

Ceist:

734. Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett asked the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government the number of HAP or RAS tenancies that have terminated in each of the years 2016, 2017, 2018 and in the first three quarters of 2019; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52598/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Housing)

The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) scheme plays a vital role in housing eligible families and individuals.  At the end of Q3 2019, nearly 67,000 HAP tenancies had been set-up since the scheme commenced, of which there were more than 50,000 households actively in receipt of HAP support and over 29,000 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 Q3 2019, a total of 16,544 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.

The Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS) has been an important contributor to social housing supply since its introduction on a pilot basis in 2005. From its commencement to the end of Q3 2019, some 35,965  households have been transferred from Rent Supplement to RAS.  At the end of Q3 2019, 13,147 private RAS tenancies were supported by local housing authorities, in addition to a further 5,141 RAS tenancies being jointly supported by Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) and local housing authorities.

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

Year     

No. of  HAP Closed/Exit Tenancies     

No. of RAS Closed/Exit Tenancies     

2016

1,425

1,660

2017

3,181

1,539

2018

5,711

1,728

2019 (Q3)

5,915

1,541

        

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 and RAS schemes under review. In general, I am satisfied with their operation and I consider them to be a key vehicles for meeting housing need and fulfilling the ambitious programme outlined under Rebuilding Ireland.