Speaking on Wednesday, Sinn Féin TD Claire Kerrane called on the Minister for Housing, Darragh O’Brien, to review HAP rates across the state. Her comments come in light of figures that show that over 130 of those on HAP are in receipt of the maximum top-up of 20% in Roscommon.
Deputy Kerrane 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 466 people on HAP in Roscommon (this doesn’t include those on homeless HAP). Of these, 35% are in receipt of a discretionary top-up. 30% 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.
“We need to see a real ban on rent increases. We need to see a full rollout of Homeless HAP because currently this only operates in Dublin but there are homeless people across the state.
“According to the Daft Q4 2020 report, the average rent in Roscommon is €745 and rising. With the maximum HAP limit for a family with three children of €550, 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”.