Local TD urges Minister to review HAP as rents continue to rise in Kilkenny
A Kilkenny TD has called on Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien to review the current levels of Housing Assistance Payments (HAP).
Deputy Funchion spoke out amid concerns that rents are continuing to rise shaply in Kilkenny, where local tenants are now forking out an average of €1,035 in monthly payments.
The Sinn Féin frontbench spokesperson also pointed to other figures which she claims shows HAP levels are not high enough to cover the rent for many tenants in Kilkenny.
Deputy Funchion said: “HAP rates are particularly low for single people and this has long been raised as an issue. It is near impossible to rent a property within the HAP limits as a single person in this state.
“The other HAP rates clearly need to be reviewed. Currently, there are 873 people on HAP in Kilkenny (this doesn’t include those on homeless HAP). Of these, 25.77% are in receipt of a discretionary top-up. 24.86% of these are in receipt of the maximum top-up of 20%. This shows that the HAP rates are not reflective of the rental market currently.”
Deputy Funchion called for “a real ban” on rent hikes. She also said there should be a “full roll-out of Homeless HAP”, which currently only operates in Dublin, to the rest of the country.
The Kilkenny TD (pictured below) added: “According to the Daft Q4 2020 report, the average rent in Kilkenny is €1,035.00 and rising. With the maximum HAP limit for a family with three children of (you need to find out max HAP limit), a 20% top-up doesn’t begin to cover the rent needed. We know people are paying cash top-ups and that this is putting them under serious financial strain.
“Minister Darragh O’Brien has in the past agreed that these limits need to be reviewed and that they are not meeting the needs of people. It’s time for him to start acting on his promises.”