Dysfunctional HAP scheme is failing families – McGuinness

Sinn Féin Councillor Conor D. McGuinness has said that the Housing Assistance Payment scheme is dysfunctional and is failing families in West Waterford.

McGuinness said:

“There is a shortage of available and affordable accommodation in Dungarvan. Population growth coupled with economic growth has meant that rents and house prices and rents are rising faster than people’s ability to afford. Rising rents are pricing families on low and medium incomes out of the market. This situation is exacerbated for those families and individuals that are depending on the HAP scheme.

“There is an issue where a minority of landlords are offering substandard and unsuitable accommodation, and refuse to carry out repairs or remediation work when directed to by the Council. This is resulting in the withdrawal of HAP support and risks putting tenants on the street. The Government last week announced a budget that puts as much money into the pockets of private landlords as it does to investing in building public housing.

“The attitude of Fine Gael and their Fianna Fáil backers is clear: the dysfunctional HAP scheme is here to stay, and housing building will play second fiddle to private rental for the foreseeable future. This is not sustainable, it makes bad sense economically, and it is hurting families.”