Housing Assistance Payment
If you don’t qualify for Rent Supplement, then you can apply for the Housing Assistance Payment.
- To qualify for HAP, a household must be qualified for social housing support by their local authority, which means the household must qualify to go on the local authority housing waiting list. You can apply through the housing section of your local county or city council.
- HAP tenants must find their own accommodation in the private rented market. (This is the same as the current Rent Supplement scheme.)
- The landlord must agree to rent their property to the HAP tenant. A landlord cannot discriminate against you if you are in receipt or seeking assistance in paying your rent through Rent Supplement or Housing Assistance Payment (HAP).Some examples of discrimination include using terms such as ‘rent supplement not accepted’, ‘professionals only’ in property ads; refusing to allow a person to view a property or let to them because they are in receipt of rent supplement, housing assistance or other social welfare payment, ending a tenancy or not renewing an agreement because they are in receipt of rent supplement, housing assistance or other social welfare payment.
- The local authority will make a monthly payment to the landlord. The payment is subject to terms and conditions including rent limits, and that the HAP tenant pays their rent contribution to the local authority.
- This rent contribution is based on your household income. It is calculated in the same way as the rent paid by a tenant of a local authority owned property using the differential rent scheme applicable to that local authority. Check with your local authority for the details of their differential rent scheme.
- Under the HAP scheme you can take up full-time employment and keep your housing support. If your income increases so does your rent contribution, and if your income decreases, the weekly rent contribution decreases accordingly. You will have to notify the local authority of any changes in your income or household size, so that your rent contribution can be recalculated.
- Once your HAP tenancy commences, your housing needs have now been met under HAP and you will no longer be on the local authority’s housing waiting list. However, if you still want to be considered for local authority housing or housing provided by a housing association, you can apply to the local authority to be placed on the transfer list.
- If you do apply for a transfer within 2 weeks of getting the letter confirming your HAP payment, any time that you spent on the housing list can be taken into account when your local authority considers your application. If you apply for a transfer at a later date, the time that you previously spent on the housing waiting list won’t count.