Louth has the highest percentage of rental properties being used by HAP clients in the country, new figures from the Central Statistics have revealed.
HAP, which stands for Housing Assistance Payment, is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need. Landlords enter into long term agreements with local authorities to house tenants, while under the HAP scheme tenants can take up full-time employment and keep their housing support.
HAP will eventually replace long-term Rent Supplement. HAP has been rolled out on a phased basis and is now available in all local authority areas throughout Ireland.
All figures released by the CSO today pertain to 2019 and they show that the scheme accounted for 57,630 households nationwide in 2019, with 3,390 in Louth.
Of those, the most common was for a single parent with one child – with 722 of these tenants availing of the scheme in the county.
41.8% of rental properties in Louth, as registered by the Rental Tenancies Board, are used for HAP. That is a higher percentage than anywhere else in the country.
There are more HAP properties in the Dundalk South (857) and Drogheda Urban (816) electoral areas, essentially both town centres, than anywhere else in Ireland. There are a further 712 HAP properties in the Dundalk-Carlingford area, while there are 283 in the Ardee area and 200 in Drogheda Rural.
Last year, 740 persons and families entered the HAP scheme in Louth – including 185 single and one child families and 157 single person households.
Only Dublin City, south Dublin, Fingal and Cork County saw more additions to the HAP scheme in 2020.
There are currently 3,255 on Louth County Council’s list of applicants awaiting transfer from the HAP scheme to social housing. 316 are in the Ardee area, which includes Dunleer, while there are 1,717 in Dundalk and 1,202 in Drogheda.
According to the CSO, the median income of HAP tenants in Louth in 2018 was €15,855. 53.7% of the tenants were working in PAYE employment.