Housing Assistance Payment Scheme (HAP) 2022

The HAP logo (Housing Assistance Payment) with two blue houses next to logo

For people in need, the HAP scheme can be a great way to have a long-term housing solution, in a location that suits your household's needs. Read on to find out about HAP scheme rates in 2022, HAP for landlords, if you qualify for the scheme, and how to apply.

What is the HAP Scheme?

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The HAP scheme (or Housing Assistance Payment scheme) is a Nationwide government scheme whereby social housing assistance is provided to citizens in need by local authorities.

Under the HAP scheme, local housing authorities in Ireland will pay rent to landlords every month for HAP tenants renting a property from them.

In return, the HAP tenant will then pay a weekly amount to the local authority, based on their means and personal situation.

Did you know? The HAP scheme was first introduced in 2014 and there are currently 18,000 landlords and letting agents participating in the scheme. The HAP scheme will eventually replace the Rent Supplement scheme.

How Does the HAP Scheme Work?

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Tenants who qualify for the programme must find their own private rental accommodations. The monthly rent of the accommodation must be within the HAP limits for it to be accepted. It is important to note that the rental agreement remains between the tenant and the landlord, not the local authority office.

Once your lease is signed, you must register the tenancy with the Residential Tenancies Board.

Eligible applicants will then see their monthly rent paid directly to the landlord by your local authority. Tenants still have obligations to meet and pay the local authority what they can afford.

Landlords also have obligations they need to meet and respect under the programme.

Discrimination You cannot be discriminated against in Ireland if you are receiving any type of social benefit. As such, landlords cannot refuse any HAP scheme or other social programme beneficiaries.

2022 Hap Scheme Rent Limits

Only lodging within your local authority’s rent limit is eligible for the scheme. You can visit the Irish Statute Book on Housing Assistance Payment for the complete list of local authorities and their rent limits. As an example, we list below some of the more popular regions' rent limits under the HAP Scheme.

Rent limits for the HAP Scheme in Ireland
Local Authority 1 adult in shared accommodation Couple in shared accommodation 1 adult Couple Couple, or 1 adult, with 1 child Couple, or 1 adult, with 2 children Couple, or 1 adult, with 3 children
Cork City Council €300 €330 €550 €650 €900 €925 €950
Dublin City Council €430 €500 €660 €900 €1,250 €1,275 €1,300
Galway City Council €330 €360 €575 €650 €850 €875 €900
Limerick City and County Council €270 €300 €420 €450 €650 €700 €750
Waterford City and County Council €240 €270 €430 €450 €550 €575 €600

Rent Limit Flexibility Should you have 4 or more children or if you cannot find a suitable household within these limits, there is flexibility on these limits of up to 20%. This is only on a case-by-case basis and would require your local authority’s approval.

What are the benefits for tenants of the HAP scheme?

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There are plenty of advantages for tenants under the HAP Scheme. Concretely, they are as follows:

  1. Freedom to choose.

    HAP tenants can choose their own accommodation, meaning they can live somewhere that is better suited to their household, work and school choices, unlike with social housing.

  2. Tailored payments.

    The rent contribution that HAP tenants must make is tailored to that household’s income and the ability to pay, and so is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

  3. Allows other social benefits.

    Participating in the HAP scheme does not prevent HAP tenants from other social housing support and options.

  4. Minimum standards protection.

    HAP tenants are not local housing tenants, they are tenants of a landlord and as such are entitled to all the rights and obligations covered by the Residential Tenancies act.

  5. Longevity.

    Prospective tenants can retain the financial housing support even if their financial situation improves.

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What are the disadvantages for tenants of the HAP scheme?

Like anything in this world, there are also some inconveniences for tenants in the HAP scheme programme, these are:

  • Accountability.

    If HAP tenants fall behind on their rent contribution payments to the local authority, payments to the landlord will then be suspended as well. If the situation persists, the local authority will eventually stop payments altogether.

  • Cost increase.

    A HAP tenant who has had their local authority stop paying the landlord is then accountable for the full amount of rent going forward, as well as any rent arrears which have built up.

  • Risk of Eviction.

    Obviously, the continued build-up of these arrears then exposes the HAP tenant to an eviction.

  • Prejudice.

    Landlords can sometimes be reluctant to participate in the scheme. The situation is no doubt being exacerbated by the current rental housing crisis in Ireland.

HAP tenants fact An article by the Irish Independent also highlighted that in actual fact many HAP tenants are priced out of up to 92% of the rental market.

What are the benefits of the HAP scheme for landlords?

The HAP scheme is not only a good deal for tenants, but it also has some clear benefits for landlords, these are:

  1. Guaranteed payments.

    Rent is received on time, every month, by electronic payment, and there is a 99% rent payment rate. HAP payments will continue to be made even if there is a change in the tenant’s income.

  2. Tax benefits.

    Landlords who rent to HAP tenants may also receive more tax relief and be able to claim mortgage interest payments as expenses against their rental income.

  3. Selectivity.

    The tenant will be your tenant, not a tenant of the local authority, and as such you will retain all rights and obligations under the Residential Tenancies Act.

What are the disadvantages of the HAP scheme for landlords?

There are a few drawbacks for landlords renting to HAP tenants, concretely:

  • Minimum rental standards of accommodation will need to be verified.
  • Your tax compliance will also need to be checked.

However, both of these inconveniences can be carried out after the tenancy has already started and HAP payments have been received.

Can landlords refuse HAP? The Equal Status Acts 2000-2015 makes it unlawful to discriminate against potential tenants due to them receiving any social welfare or housing payments.

Do I Qualify for the HAP Scheme?

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To qualify for the HAP Scheme, you must already be in the social housing programme and registered on your local authority’s housing list.

If you aren’t already on the list, you can complete an application for social housing support via your local authority.

You will need to include the following information along with your application:

  • Photo identification
  • Proof of current address
  • Proof of income

The main criteria is having an annual income below a threshold set by the Government. The net income limits vary per county and are listed in the following social housing support PDF file.

Citizens who receive the Rent Supplement can also be transferred to the HAP scheme. In fact, if you have been in receipt of the Rent Supplement for 18 months or more, you will usually be contacted by the local authority to apply for the HAP scheme.

Unlike social housing, HAP tenants are not provided with accommodation or put on a waiting list, they find their own accommodation in the private accommodation rental market. The landlord of the prospective accommodation also needs to agree to rent the property to a HAP tenant.

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On top of the above link to the listing of local authority offices in Ireland, We have also included the contact details for the county councils' and city councils' housing departments below. You can contact your local housing authority to find out whether or not you qualify for the HAP scheme.

Local authority listing for the HAP scheme in Ireland
Council Telephone Fax E-mail Website

Carlow County Council

059 917 0300

059 914 1503


Carlow CC Website

Cavan County Council

049 437 8300

049 436 1565


Cavan CC Website

Clare County Council

065 682 1616

065 682 8233


Clare CC Website

Cork City Council

021 496 6222

021 431 4238


Cork City Website

Cork County Council

021 427 6891

021 427 6321


Cork CC Website

Donegal County Council

074 915 3900

074 917 2812


Donegal CC Website

Dublin City Council

01 222 6955



Dublin City website

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council

01 2053499

01 2986827


Dun Laoghaire Rathdown CC Website

Fingal County Council

01 890 5902



Fingal CC Website

Galway City Council

091 536418

091 567493


Galway City Website

Galway County Council

091 509300

091 509010


Galway CC Website

Kerry County Council

066 7183855

066 7122466


Kerry CC Website

Kildare County Council

045 980818

045 980240


Kildare CC Website

Kilkenny County Council

056 7794900

056 7794004


Kilkenny CC Website

Laois County Council

057 8664000

057 8622313


Laois CC Website

Leitrim County Council

071 9650426

071 9621982


Leitrim CC Website

Limerick City and County Council

061 556000

061 415266


Limerick CC Website

Longford County Council

043 3343499

043 3341233


Longford CC Website

Louth County Council

860 364911

042 9334549


Louth CC Websit

Mayo County Council

094 9064510



Mayo CC Website

Meath County Council

046 9097000

046 9097001


Meath CC Website

Monaghan County Council

047 30552

047 82739


Monaghan CC Website

Offaly County Council

057 9346800

057 9346868


Offaly CC Website

Roscommon County Council

090 6637100

090 6625599


Roscommon CC Website

Sligo County Council

071 9111111

071 9141119


Sligo CC Website

South Dublin County Council

01 4149000



South Dublin CC Website

Tipperary County Council

0761 065000



Tipperary CC Website

Waterford City and County Council

0818 102020



Waterford CC Website

Westmeath County Council

044 9332119

044 9342330


Westmeath CC website

Wexford County Council

053 9196000

053 9196055


Wexford CC website

Wicklow County Council

0404 20100

0404 67792


Wicklow CC website

How to Apply for the HAP Scheme?

Once you are on your local authority’s social housing list, you will need to follow two easy steps to apply for the HAP Scheme.

Ask your local authority for the HAP Scheme application form. You can always request this form after you have found suitable lodging, simply be sure the rent is within the programme's rent limits.

If you are already in the desired home and are eligible for the HAP Scheme, your landlord will need to fill out a portion of the application.

Once your HAP Scheme application form has been approved, you will then need to complete a second document called the Rent Contribution Agreement. This is the payment arrangement between the tenant and the local authority. You will most likely need to present a copy of the signed lease agreement as well.

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The Dublin Homeless HAP Scheme

The Dublin local authority has an additional scheme called the Homeless HAP scheme, operated by the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (DRHE).

The DRHE provides a deposit and an advance of two months’ rent to landlords who rent to tenants under the scheme. The rent limit can also be surpassed by 50% in comparison to the regular HAP scheme.

Unlike the HAP scheme, the DRHE assists homeless or ‘at risk’ of being homeless households to find appropriate lodging. Have a look at the Dublin Place Finder Service for more information.

If you are a landlord and would like to make a property available for homeless tenants you can contact the DRHE office on 01 222 6955 from Monday to Friday, 10 am to 4 pm or email at homelesshap@dublincity.ie.

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