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Housing assistance payment (HAP)

HAP is a form of housing support provided by local authorities and replaces the previous Rent Supplement Assistance provided by Social Welfare. The introduction of HAP will mean that local authorities can now provide housing assistance for households who are on the social housing waiting list, (including many long-term rent supplement recipients). The tenancy remains a private agreement between the tenant and their landlords.

HAP recipients will be responsible for finding their own accommodation in the private rented market.

Under the HAP scheme, payments will be made to landlords on behalf of the HAP recipient, subject to rent limits. The amounts below are the rent limits applicable to the County of Westmeath.

Local Authority1 adult in shared accommodationCouple in shared accommodation1 adult CoupleCouple or 1 adult with 1 childCouple or 1 adult with 2 childrenCouple or 1 adult with 3 children
€220 €240 €450 €470 €600 €625 €650

When a rent is higher than the maximum rent contribution that Westmeath County Council will pay, the balance to be paid is a matter between landlord and tenant.

Tenants are required to keep up to date with their rent until official sign up is complete. Where a person is deemed eligible for HAP, a payment will be made directly to their landlord by the local authority on the last Wednesday of each month in arrears.

A differential rent is also payable by the tenant to the local authority based on the tenant’s income. This is assessed under Westmeath County Council Differential Rent Scheme. The housing applicant will be deemed to have their housing need satisfied. Any changes in family circumstances must be notified to Westmeath County Council.

HAP tenants must stay in the property for a minimum of two years. After that tenants may apply for a transfer under HAP. If a tenant moves without prior approval from Westmeath County Council, they may receive no further assistance for a period of 12 months.

HAP Shared Services Centre

Limerick City and County Council operate HAP as a Shared Service Centre on behalf of local authorities across the country. Weekly rent is paid to Limerick HAP Shared Services Centre. Payments are issued to landlords from Limerick HAP Shared Services Centre the last Wednesday of each month in arrears. Limerick HAP Shared Service Centre team can be contacted on 061 55 66 00 or hapcollections@limerick.ie

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