Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)


What is HAP?

HAP is a form of social housing support provided by all local authorities. HAP means that local authorities can provide housing assistance for households who qualify for social housing support, including many long-term Rent Supplement recipients.

Under HAP, local authorities will make a monthly payment to a landlord, subject to terms and conditions, on a HAP tenant’s behalf. In return, the HAP tenant pays a weekly contribution towards the rent to the local authority. This ‘rent contribution’ is based on the household income. It is calculated in the same way as the rent paid by a tenant of a local authority owned property.

Why is HAP being introduced?

HAP provides a more integrated system of housing supports and aims to:

  • allow HAP tenants to work full-time and still keep their housing support, and
  • allow all social housing supports to be accessed through one body – the local authority.

Who is eligible for HAP?

  • Any household that qualifies for social housing support, and is not currently housed by their local authority, can apply for HAP.
  • Current Rent Supplement recipients who qualify for social housing support will be transferred from Rent Supplement to HAP on a phased basis.

How does HAP work?

  • To qualify for HAP, a household must be qualified for social housing support by their local authority, which means the household must qualify to go on the local authority housing waiting list.
  • HAP tenants must find their own accommodation in the private rented market. (This is the same as the current Rent Supplement scheme.)
  • The landlord must agree to rent their property to the HAP tenant.
  • The local authority will make a monthly payment to the landlord. This payment is made on the last Wednesday of each month. The payment is subject to terms and conditions and that the HAP tenant pays their rent contribution to the local authority.
  • The HAP tenant pays their rent contribution to the local authority. Rent contributions will generally be made through An Post’s Household Budget Scheme. If the HAP tenant does not pay this rent contribution, HAP payments to their landlord will be suspended and eventually stopped. The HAP tenant is then responsible for paying the full rent themselves.

For further information contact the HAP Section of Laois County Council at (057) 866 4000 or see related documents below.  Further information is also available at www.hap.ie

HAP Information Booklet

HAP Information Booklet (Landlord)

HAP Information Booklet (Tenant)