The responsibility for the payment of rent allowance is to be handed over to local authorities in seven areas from next January, the Minister of State for Housing has confirmed.
In an interview with The Irish Times, Jan O’Sullivan said the Limerick joint authority (formerly Limerick city and county councils) would be the “lead local authority” in a pilot project involving six other areas. This will be the start of the process of transferring rent supplement, or “housing assistance payments”, from the Department of Social Protection to local authorities. A Dublin local authority would also be involved in the pilot.
Rent supplement is paid by the Department of Social Protection to about 90,000 households headed by people on social welfare who would not otherwise be able to pay rent. It is paid directly to the social welfare recipient tenant who then pays it to the landlord as the main part of their rent.
The Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) allowance will be paid directly to landlords.
Read the full interview on IrishTimes.com here.