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98% of HAP properties in Dublin failed to meet rental standards

Of these 117 failed properties, compliance was only achieved in eight.

Image: Shutterstock/NOBUHIRO ASADA

ANGER HAS BEEN expressed at figures which show a near complete failure to meet rental standards of HAP properties in Dublin.

Figures obtained by Róisín Shortall TD, co-leader of the Social Democrats show that 98& of the 119 properties inspected since 1 March failed to meet rental standards.

The figures obtained from the council show that of a total of 304 HAP tenancies in Dublin in March 2017, only 119 had been inspected. Of these 119, all but two failed to meet the basic regulatory requirements for rental properties.

Furthermore, of these 117 failed properties, compliance was only achieved in eight.

Around 20,000 landlords country-wide are availing of the Housing Assistance Programme. It is a form of social housing support for people who have a long-term housing need, aimed at replacing long-term Rent Supplement.

HAP has been rolled out gradually and, with effect from 1 March 2017, is now available in all local authority areas throughout the State.

Shortall says that the figures are an indictment of government housing policy.

“The HAP scheme was launched to great fanfare in March of this year as a central pillar of the new housing strategy to move the onus to provide housing away from the Council, and onto the existing private rental market.

“The availability of rental properties in Dublin is already at an all-time low and the failure of the Council to build new homes means that those who traditionally would have the safety net of social housing are now at the mercy of a high-pressure, high-price rental market.”

“The HAP system has a role to play in the provision of housing. It encourages better social mix, it allows people to take up or remain working and could allow people to have more freedom to choose a property that is suitable for them.

“The real issue is the dysfunction of the rental market and the chronic undersupply of all types of private and social housing. HAP would work if we had a functioning rental market and proper regulation and inspection. Three things we are sadly missing.”

The Department of Housing has said that HAP represented an important part of housing policy. In July, it said:

“The HAP scheme is one of the primary exit routes out of emergency accommodation and offers secure tenancies in the private rented sector.”

The scheme was introduced in 2015 in response to the escalating housing crisis and provides temporary accommodation for homeless families in privately provided rental properties.

Read: ‘Housing payment is trapping homeless families in emergency accommodation’

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