25 October 2023
By Elaine Murphy
Socialist Party TD Mick Barry said this morning that the Government’s HAP scheme no longer bears any relationship with the realities of the rental market and that HAP limits urgently need to be increased.
His comments come in the wake of the Simon Community’s “Locked Out Of The Market” report for September which found that half the areas of the country surveyed did not advertise a single property available to rent within the HAP limits.
Two of these areas were Cork city centre and Cork city suburbs.
The Simon survey focusses on a representative sample of 16 areas, both urban and rural, across the state.
“Locked Out Of The Market” also found that there were less properties to rent in September than in the previous quarter in 9 of the 16 areas.
Cork city centre was one of the 9 areas in question.
Deputy Barry said this morning: “When we are told that there wasn’t a single property available to rent in September in either Cork city centre or Cork city suburbs that came in below the Housing Assistance Payments limit then we know that there is something seriously wrong going on. The reality is that people are topping up their HAP payments with out of pocket payments to landlords to the tune of hundreds of euro per month. Clearly there is a need to increase the HAP limits and bring them into line with the reality of the rental market. I would support taking this step while at the same time campaigning for cuts to rent and a rent freeze and for a massive increase in the supply of social and affordable housing provided by the State.”
Under the current HAP rates in Cork city a single person or a couple with no kids can claim up to a maximum of €650 per month. A couple with one child or a single parent can claim up to a maximum of €925 per month.