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Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)

HAP is a form of social housing support provided by all local authorities. Under HAP, local authorities can provide housing assistance to people with a long-term housing need, including many long-term Rent Supplement recipients.

Under HAP, local authorities will make the full rent payment on behalf of the HAP recipient directly to the landlord. 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.


Once approved, HAP recipients will be responsible for finding their own accommodation in the private rented market and accordingly, 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 their 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.

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.