The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) / Rent Supplement / Tenancy Protection Service (TPS) / Article 38
HAP is a social housing payment to your landlord. HAP helps you to pay the rent, through your local authority, while you pay your weekly differential rent to your local authority. You need to be included on a local authority housing waiting list in order to qualify for HAP. See https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/942f74-local-authorities/
You can find out more information regarding HAP eligibility here: Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) (citizensinformation.ie)
Those on rent supplement, long term, may also avail of HAP. Under HAP the local authority will pay your rent directly to the landlord, usually on the last Wednesday of every month, and you will make your contribution to the local authority, per the information on differential rent, above. Your differential rent amount will depend on your income and personal circumstances. One of the benefits of HAP is that you can work full time and still get some assistance.
You will normally be responsible for sourcing your own private rented accommodation which must be within rent limits set according to your income, household size and the area you live in. In most situations, your local authority may be able to pay up to 20% above these limits if you are unable to find suitable accommodation within the limits.
You may also have to pay a deposit which is not normally provided by HAP, save if you are eligible to apply for Homeless HAP, that some local authorities operate. If you are not eligible for Homeless HAP, yet still have difficulty sourcing a deposit amount you may be able to get help from the Department of Social Protection.
In order for you to apply for HAP the landlord will have to:
· Complete the HAP application form
· The property will have to be inspected by the local authority to ensure it meets minimum standards. Note: this inspection is organised by the local authority once the tenancy is in place.
· The landlord will have to provide a tax compliance form with the application or within 4 months of submission of the HAP application.
Private rented accommodation is considered a good or service under Equal Status legislation and a landlord cannot discriminate against you because you are seeking or are in receipt of a Housing Assistance Payment. If this occurs, contact Threshold immediately for further assistance. This may include taking a case to the Workplace Relations Commission of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission, www.ihrec.ie.
Once approved for HAP your housing need is deemed to be met. However, if you wish to still be considered for housing by your local authority you can apply immediately to be placed on the local authority transfer list. Please talk to Threshold about the Transfer List. Your status on the social housing waiting list depends on individual local authority policy.
Under HAP the normal landlord and tenant laws apply, so if you have a problem which you cannot resolve informally with the landlord and/or by speaking with Threshold, you may be able to refer a dispute to the Residential Tenancies Board.
Rent Supplement is intended as a short-term housing support e.g. for those who have suffered a recent loss in earnings such as a job loss, who cannot afford to pay rent from their own resources.
Rent supplement is being replaced by the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) for those in need of a long-term housing support. Note: if you are already on the Rent Supplement Payment and thinking of transferring to HAP, please contact Threshold immediately to discuss your options.
If you are in receipt of rent supplement your rent cannot be above set limits depending on your household size and where you are living. Please contact Threshold for further information regarding eligibility criteria. You can also find out more here: Rent Supplement (citizensinformation.ie)
Tenancy Protection Service (TPS)
If your rent is above the set limits or a valid rent increase is served on you, while in receipt of rent supplement, Threshold’s Tenancy Protection Service (TPS) may be able to help you to apply for an enhanced payment over existing rent caps, if it will keep you in your home and prevent you from becoming homeless. The TPS can seek an enhanced payment through a Protocol agreement with the Department of Social Protection if you live in the following areas:
· Dublin and the commuter counties of Kildare, Meath and Wicklow
· Cork City and its environs
· Galway, Mayo and Roscommon
If you live outside of the areas above and your rent is above the set rent limit or is due to increase above the set rent limit, your Department of Social Protection Representative (link to local offices) can also exercise their discretion and make a payment above the existing rent caps through ‘Article 38’. For more information and assistance with this contact your