Housing Assistance Payment

HAP is a new form of housing support provided by local authorities. The introduction of HAP will mean that local authorities can now provide housing assistance for households who qualify for social housing support, including many long-term rent supplement recipients. Under HAP, local authorities will make a monthly rental payment on behalf of the HAP recipient directly to the landlord, but the rent paid is subject to terms and conditions, including rent limits. The HAP recipient will then pay a rent contribution to the local authority. The rent contribution is a differential rent – that is, a rent based on income and the ability to pay.

Housing Assistance Payment Limits have increased

  • Changes to HAP limits, effective 1st July 2016
  • Who is eligible for HAP?
    Any household that qualifies for social housing support is eligible to apply for HAP. Current rent supplement recipients who qualify for social housing support will be transferred from rent supplement to HAP on a phased basis.

    Who is eligible for HAP and how does it work?
    In order to qualify for HAP, a household must be qualified for social housing support by their local authority, which means the household must qualify to go on the local authority housing waiting list.

  • HAP recipients will be responsible for finding their own accommodation in the private rented market.
  • The landlord must agree to rent their property to a HAP recipient.
  • The local authority will then pay the rent in full directly to the landlord, subject to terms and conditions including rent limits.
  • The HAP recipient pays their rent contribution to the local authority. To begin with, rent contributions will generally be made through An Post’s Household Budget Scheme.
  • HAP allows recipients to take up full-time employment, while still receiving housing support. The rent contribution payable by the HAP recipient is based on the differential rent scheme for their local authority. This scheme links the rent contribution a household must pay to the household's income and the ability to pay.

    If a HAP recipient leaves their HAP property without the local authority’s permission, they will be suspended for a period of one year from all housing supports including homeless services and their time on the housing list will also be suspended for one year.

    Information for Landlords
    The landlord will receive prompt payments directly from the local authority on a monthly basis, subject to the HAP recipient paying the local authority their rent contribution.

  • There will be no need for rent collection from tenants who are HAP recipients leading to administrative savings for landlords.
  • All payments will be made electronically.

  • Download our Landlord Information Booklet here.
  • Download our Tenant Information Booklet here.

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