HAP crisis coupled with eviction ban is a perfect storm for those in housing insecurity
30 March 2023
Labour leader and housing spokesperson Ivana Bacik has urged Government to extend the eviction ban in the context of the HAP analysis carried out by the Simon Communities.
Deputy Bacik said:
“There has been a fundamental lack of commitment to social housing under this conservative coalition. It is ideology, not the economy, that is going to drive thousands of households into homeless in the weeks and months ahead.
“With just 29 HAP properties available on the market, this is a perfect storm for those on lower incomes who also risk receiving a notice to quit this weekend. It’s nothing short of a national disgrace.
“There are many low to middle income earners who avail of the HAP scheme as they are in the high rent, low security private rental sector. The scheme was designed to provide long-term, secure and affordable rent, but it is no longer working.
“This Government has essentially outsourced social housing to the private market through its overreliance on HAP. There has been a lack of commitment to investing in social housing. HAP limits haven’t been raised since 2017, something Labour has consistently urged Government to do. The discretionary rate was considered during the summer, but not the core, which represents the style of ‘tinkering around the edges’ that has marked this Government’s approach to the housing crisis.
“The sting in all of this is – it doesn’t have to be this way. Labour and other members of the opposition have put forward a suite of emergency legislation to tackle the issues of supply, affordability and security in the rental market. Instead this Government is opting to force families into homelessness. It is a social catastrophe.”