Housing Assistance Payment Scheme helps 1,050 households in Cork County find Housing in 2016

AS part of meeting the Government’s ambitious “Rebuilding Ireland” target for the Housing Assistance Payment scheme (HAP) of securing housing for 12,000 households nationally in 2016, 1050 households on the housing list in Cork County Council have found long-term housing through HAP in 2016.

Since 15th September, 2014 when HAP began in 2014 more than 2,000 households have found housing through the scheme. (only relevant if you introduced HAP prior to 2016)

HAP is a form of housing support being rolled out nationwide and is available to households who qualify for social housing support, including many long-term rent supplement recipients. HAP recipients, like Rent Supplement recipients, find their own accommodation in the private rented market. Under HAP, local authorities will make payments, subject to rent limits, on behalf of the HAP recipient directly to the landlord in respect of rent. The scheme allows HAP recipients to work full-time and retain their HAP support.

In 2016, a total of 12,075 households nationally joined the HAP scheme.  It is expected that 15,000 households around the country will join the scheme in 2017.

There is more detailed information on overall social housing provision including HAP on the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government website at:


For more information on the HAP scheme please contact the Housing Section of Cork County Council or visit the Department of Housing, Planning, Community & Local Government website at:


Benefits of HAP

For the recipient

  • The recipient can take up full-time employment, while still receiving housing support.

  • The recipient pays a rent contribution based on the differential rent scheme for their housing authority. This scheme links the rent contribution a household must pay to the household income and the ability to pay.

  • HAP helps to regulate the private rental sector and improve standards of accommodation as properties are inspected to make sure that they meet the required standards.

  • The recipient can avail of other social housing supports and options, if they so choose.

  • The recipient has a one stop shop (their local authority) for all their social housing supports.

For the landlord/agent

  • The landlord receives prompt payments directly on a monthly basis in arrears, subject to the recipient paying the housing authority their rent contribution.

  • There is no need for rent collection from recipients. This leads to administrative savings for landlords.

  • All payments are made electronically.

  • Additional tax reliefs are available for landlords who rent their properties to recipients in receipt of Rent Supplement or social housing support from a housing authority, such as HAP.

The Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2014 (the Act), which legislates for the

HAP scheme, was enacted on 28th July 2014.  Under the Scheme, HAP recipients source their own accommodation in the private rented market (as currently happens with Rent Supplement) and enter into a tenancy agreement with the landlord of the property. The housing authority makes a monthly payment toward the rent for the accommodation directly to the landlord on behalf of the household. This monthly payment to the landlord is within set maximum rent limits and may not always cover the full monthly rent for the property agreed under the terms of the tenancy between the HAP recipient and the landlord. The household pays a rent contribution to the local authority calculated in accordance with the local authority’s differential rent scheme.

Households eligible for HAP are:

  • any household that qualifies for social housing support

  • current Rent Supplement recipients who qualify for social housing support.

HAP recipients who wish to do so, are able to access other social housing supports through a transfer system. They can apply to transfer from HAP to other forms of social housing support, such as local authority housing or housing provided by an Approved Housing Body.