Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell, has dismissed claims by members of the opposition regarding the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and stated that their claims are based on political posturing rather than fact.
“The Housing Assistance Payment will reform the current system of social housing in a manner which will benefit those who need assistance with their housing needs. It will remove excess bureaucracy through allowing long-term housing support to be accessed at local authority level. Currently, waiting lists are controlled by local authorities while payments are made by the Department of Social Protection which is completely nonsensical. Under this system, both aspects will be streamlined under local authorities, therefore establishing an efficient and more effective system.”
“Most importantly, I wish to clarify that being in receipt of the Housing Assistance Payment will not stop people from being eligible for social housing. HAP tenants will be able to decide to include themselves on a transfer list, through which they can avail of various housing options. Housing authorities will implement the appropriate measures to also ensure that those on the transfer list are not disadvantaged in terms of being allocated housing. The ability to move through the system, using the transfer list, will provide assistance in times when a recipient’s circumstances and needs change.”
“I find it very disconcerting that misinformed statements have been made by members of the opposition which will only unnecessarily frighten people and lead to the further proliferation of these untruths. The fact is that the Housing Assistance Payment will work to improve the circumstances of 40,000 people who have been receiving rent supplement payments on a long-term basis.”