Time for national framework on approach to HAP
Labour housing spokesperson Rebecca Moynihan has called for a national framework approach to HAP.
Senator Moynihan said:
“We need to make structural changes to the manner in which the supported housing system is run. The figures published by the PBO show we are underestimating the scale of the challenge ahead and that there isn’t uniformity in how people are treated after getting HAP for social housing lists. As such, we need to see a national framework approach on HAP. Through a national framework we could ensure a coherent and responsive system of housing support for people who need it.
“The HAP scheme is totally out of kilter with the reality of the housing market. Right now, there are a number of counties without homes available for people availing of the HAP scheme which must be addressed. HAP limits not been revised since 2017, yet we know that rents have soared in this same period. Government must urgently commit to a review of the HAP scheme to adapt it to the current pressures experienced by renters.
“We also need to see the income limits to qualifying for social housing revised, as it is clear that there are a number of low income renters who aren’t receiving social support and these are the group for whom housing affordability is challenging. To level the playing field, we need to implement measures like the much promised Income Eligibility Scheme in the government’s Housing for All plan. In fact, there’s a report outlining this on the Minister’s desk. He just needs to take action on it.
“Unfortunately the government is failing to think about the practicalities of people at risk of homelessness. We are beyond crisis point. In light of the housing crisis and the cost of living crisis, it’s time that government address shortcomings in our social housing and HAP.”