Urgent need to review HAP limits
Responding to the Social Justice Ireland report published this morning, Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan said it is beyond time that the HAP limits are reviewed and revised to acknowledge the current reality of the housing market.
Senator Moynihan said:
“The Social Justice Ireland report points again to huge failings in government policy. Renters are being left out in the cold by this government paying extortionate fees to keep a roof over their head. Meanwhile, the pace of inflation has totally outstripped wages meaning most renters are barely just making ends meet.
“The fact that we continue to rely on the private market for social housing is also having huge consequences for people and the government continues to ignore this ticking time bomb. The HAP limits have not been revised since 2016 despite the fact that rents have increased exponentially since then. We know that people are topping up with rates they can’t afford. There is also a huge lack of available properties under the HAP limits throughout the country.
“In November, we saw that the HAP limits are having a huge impact on single people in particular. The Simon Communities Locked Out report showed that there was just one property available to rent for a single person within HAP limits. We in the Labour Party have continually called on government to wake up to this issue and to stop ignoring the needs of the some 400,000 single people in Ireland when it comes to housing.
“The housing system is not sustainable. Government knows this and multiple reports have confirmed the same. Ireland’s two-tier society is driving people into homelessness, it’s eroding people’s morale and it has created a situation where many people are working to barely get by.
“In a modern society, people should at the very least expect secure and affordable housing. An ambitious public housing programme needs to be at the core of this with sustainable and realistic social housing.”