In light of the COVID-19 situation and recent announcements made by Government in relation to measures being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19, HAP tenants are advised of the following information, to ensure the continuity of HAP tenancies.
- If a HAP tenant does not experience any change in financial circumstances as a result of the steps being taken to combat the spread of COVID-19, there should be no change to the operation of the scheme - HAP payments will continue to be made to the landlord and the tenant's differential rent will continue to be collected.
- If a tenant does experience a change in financial circumstances of foot of COVID-19, those tenants should contact the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and apply for the relevant supports https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/cb3726-jobseekers-payments/
To offset a requirement to present in person in local authority offices, documentation received from Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection should then be scanned/photographed and submitted to your local authority as soon as possible as proof of a change in financial circumstances;
The possibility of local authority staff levels being reduced may lead to delays in differential rent amounts being amended - this will not affect your HAP payment to your landlord;
Differential rent arrears that accumulate following the submission of Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection documentation during the COVID-19 measures will be re-assessed and rectified, as appropriate, by your local authority in due course - this will not affect your HAP payment to your landlord.
In the interests of reducing direct contact, HAP tenants should check with their local authority before presenting in person at any local authority offices, as it might be possible to carry out your business over the phone or electronically.
The Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government recognises the additional pressures facing both landlords and tenants in relation to the COVID-19 crisis and is working with local authorities and the HAP Shared Services Centre to ensure the continuation of HAP tenancies during this period.