Housing Assistance Payments (HAPs) Need to Increase says O’Rourke

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Local Fianna Fáil TD, Frank O’Rourke, has called on the Government to increase the Housing Assistance Payments, even on a temporary basis, as the costs of renting increases.
“The low level of the supply of the housing units, is fuelling the rising cost of renting a home, and means that the current level of HAP funding is not enough, in many cases, for those seeking accommodation.”

“I know from my weekly clinics that our social housing list is rising most months. Kildare County Council’s housing waiting list has increased by nearly 1800 people in the last 12 months. The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. However, the level of funds under this scheme is not enough.”

“Under the HAP scheme, local authorities pay landlords directly and 805 households were helped with rent repayments through the HAP scheme last year.”

“I know that many seeking accommodation under the scheme are not being successful as the level of funding is too low, as rents rise. So long as the supply of housing units are at a low level, rents will continue to rise as supply does not meet demand. I am calling for an increase in payments under the HAP scheme, so that we can get more people housed in Kildare.”

“As supply of housing units increases, and rent costs reduces, we could then reduce the HAP funding. Social Housing supports needs to be improved, and I will continue to raise this issue in the Dáil to ensure that it secures Government attention” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

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