The proportion of new Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) households in Kildare referred from homeless services rose from 6.6% (46) in 2018 to 14.9% (94) in 2019, according to new figures released by the CSO.
HAP is a form of social housing support provided by all local authorities, which sees them make a monthly payment to a landlord (subject to terms and conditions like rent limits) on a HAP tenant’s behalf. The tenant pays a weekly contribution towards the rent to the local authority, based on the household income.
Last year, Kildare had a total of 2,610 HAP households. Of those 369 were single, 583 single with one child, 349 single with two children, and 153 single with three or more children. 115 were couples alongside 254 couples with one child, 417 couples with two children, and 253 couples with three or more children.
The CSO’s figures also show that 350 households in Kildare exited HAP in 2019.
In the second quarter of last year, the Athy Local Electoral Area (LEA) had the highest number of HAP properties with 418, followed by Newbridge (407) and Kildare (373). There were 346 HAP properties in Naas LEA, 195 in Clane, 188 in Maynooth, 159 in Celbridge, and 74 in Leixlip.
There were some similarities, for the same time period, in terms of rent supplement properties by LEA in Kildare – 179 in Athy, 153 in Kildare, 149 in Newbridge, 125 in Naas, 112 in Celbridge, 95 in Maynooth, 70 in Clane, and 57 in Leixlip.
And, regarding local authority social housing properties, the breakdown was 739 in Athy LEA, 672 in Newbridge, 632 in Naas, 561 in Kildare, 509 in Clane, 298 in Maynooth, 270 in Celbridge, and 219 in Leixlip.
Overall, the number of households in HAP has risen every year since the scheme started in 2014 and stood at 57,630 by 2019.
The most common employment sectors for new entrants to HAP in 2019 were Wholesale & Retail, Accommodation & Food, and Health.
More than four in ten (44%) HAP tenants spent less than a year on the local authority housing waiting list before entering the scheme, while just over one in ten (12%) waited seven years.