There are around 60,000 households on local authority housing waiting lists. Besides, a similar and growing number receive HAP payments in the private rented sector. This suggests that a more accurate estimate of households with housing needs may be closer to 122,000.
In some cases, HAP may provide a suitable housing solution. However, a significant portion of HAP tenants may feel that their needs are not adequately met under this scheme. In this case, they may wish to be considered for long-term social housing support.
Although HAP tenants have similar legal protections as other private tenants, they do not have a guaranteed right to have their housing needs met. For example, if their tenancy ends, they are not direct tenants of a local authority or approved housing body.
The ongoing need classification would encompass the majority of HAP tenants seeking long-term social housing.
Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has noted, “Not everybody on HAP is waiting for a permanent housing solution, so it is not as simple as adding them to the waiting list.” This statement reflects that not all HAP tenants currently receiving HAP assistance necessarily desire long-term social housing.