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Households Coming into HAP

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The situation of people and households before and after entering HAP are examined in this chapter. This analysis includes income and employment, social benefits and housing list characteristics.

The number of households starting HAP tenancies for the first time rose sharply from 420 in 2014 to 16,930 by 2017, before dropping slightly to 14,540 in 2019. The main household types entering a HAP tenancy in 2019 were a single person with one child (3,550) and a single person (3,180).

Show Table: Table 1.1: Number of Households Coming into HAP - By Year and Family Type

Dublin City, Fingal, South Dublin and Cork County had the largest numbers of new households in 2019 entering the HAP scheme. Dublin City had 498 households with a single person and one child and 458 with a single person. Fingal had 325 households with a single person and one child entering HAP, with 267 in South Dublin County and 226 in Cork County.

Data for years from 2014 to 2019, (available on Statbank table HAP01), shows that several local authorities – particularly those in Dublin – were not significantly involved in the early years of the HAP scheme as this was rolled-out on a phased basis.

Show Table: Table 1.2 Table of Households Coming into HAP In 2019– By Local Authority and Family Type¹

Analysis of Housing Waiting List shows more than four in ten HAP tenants wait less than a year before starting in scheme 

The HAP dataset has been linked to data detailing persons and households on local authorities housing waiting lists to identify particular characteristics of HAP tenants prior to first entering the HAP scheme. This housing list data used here includes the SSHA (Summary of Social Housing Assessments) annual data relating to the years 2016 to 2019.

The waiting time from first application to a local authority housing waiting list to entering HAP was less than one year for 44.4% of those who were on a local authority housing list between 2016 and 2019. At the other end of the scale, 21.4% had a waiting time of five years or more.

Waiting TimePercentage of Tenants
Up to 3 months17.5
3 - 6 months15.4
6 months - 12 months11.5
1 - 2 years11.1
2 - 3 years8.5
3 - 4 years7.8
4 - 5 years6.9
5 - 7 years9.7
More than 7 years11.7

Almost 40% of HAP tenants have a dependence on Rent Supplement as the primary basis of need

The basis of need identified on the housing lists was examined for HAP tenants. The main basis of need for HAP, (for those tenants who could be linked to the housing waiting lists), were unsuitable household circumstances (40.2%) and dependence on rent supplement (38.7%).

Basis of NeedPercentage of Tenants
Unsuitable: Particular Household Circumstances40.2
Currently Dependent on Rent Supplement38.7
Involuntary sharing7
Disability Requirement4.1
Homeless, Institution, Emergency Accommodation or Hostel3.3
Overcrowded accommodation3.3
Exceptional Medical or Compassionate Grounds1.8
Unfit Accommodation1.2
Concluded that mortgage is unsustainable0.5

Over nine-tenths of HAP tenants have general accommodation requirements

Just over nine in ten (91.0%) of the HAP tenants who were linked to a housing list had a ‘General’ classification of need, ie., they had no specific accommodation requirements. About three in 100 were homeless (3.4%) or were enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment (3.0%).

Classification of NeedPercentage of Tenants
General91
Homeless3.4
Enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment3
Elderly: Aged 65 years or more1.2
Traveller1.1
Exceptional medical grounds0.3

Over three-quarters of HAP tenants identified as living in private rental accommodation from the housing waiting list

About three-quarters (75.7%) of HAP tenants who were linked to the net housing waiting lists from 2016 to 2019 were in ‘Private Rental Accommodation’. Rent Supplement was held by 37.4% of HAP tenants while 38.3% had no Rent Supplement.

The text above was amended on 10 February 2021 to reflect the data contained in Figure 1.4 and Table 1.3.

Tenure TypePercentage of Tenants
Private rented accommodation (without rent supplement)38.3
Private rented accommodation (with rent supplement)37.4
Living with parents10.9
Emergency Accommodation/none4.5
Living with relatives3.5
Other2.6
Living with friends1.7
Owner occupier0.6
Institution0.3
Rough sleeper with no accommodation0.1
Show Table: Table 1.3: HAP Tenants by Waiting List Characteristics: Waiting Time (Until First HAP Tenancy), Basis of Need, Classification of Need and Tenure Type

Households most likely to go into HAP from 2016 Waiting List when dependent on Rent Supplement and new to the list

The housing list has also been examined from a different angle to determine whether there are any particular type of households who are more likely to later go into HAP tenancies. The 2016 net housing list (see definition of net list in Background Notes and Methodologyhas been used as the base of the analysis for this and identifying those who enter HAP after the date of this list and prior to the end of 2019. As a reference, 26.1% of households on the 2016 net list later enter HAP tenancies. 

Four in ten (39.7%) of those on the 2016 housing lists who were waiting less than three months later entered a HAP tenancy while just over three in ten (31.6%) waiting between three and six months did so too. For those waiting seven years or more, 15.9% later entered HAP tenancies.

Waiting TimePercentage in HAP
Up to 3 months39.7
3 - 6 months31.6
6 - 12 months27
1 - 2 years27.9
2 - 3 years26.4
3 - 4 years25.9
4 - 5 years23.7
5 - 7 years22.1
More than 7 years15.9

Nearly 30% of those dependent on rent supplement on the 2016 waiting list later go on to HAP

Just over one in four of those on the housing waiting lists in 2016 and whose basis of need was dependence on Rent Supplement (28.9%) or unsuitable household circumstances (25.5%) moved into a HAP tenancy. Only 14.6% of those whose basis of need was ‘Homeless, Institution, Emergency Accommodationor Hostel’ moved into a HAP tenancy.

Basis of NeedPercentage in HAP
Currently Dependent on Rent Supplement28.9
Unsuitable: Particular Household Circumstances25.5
Overcrowded accommodation22.4
Unfit Accommodation18.1
Disability Requirement17.7
Exceptional Medical or Compassionate Grounds17.5
Involuntary sharing16.7
Concluded that mortgage is unsustainable14.8
Homeless, Institution, Emergency Accommodation or Hostel14.6

Households with 'General' accommodation requirements in 2016 most likely to go on to HAP tenancies 

One in four (25.7%) of those with a general classificaiton of need on the 2016 housing waiting list subsequently entered HAP.  The next highest proportion entering HAP was 17.4% for those with enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment.

Classification of NeedPercentage in HAP
General25.7
Enduring physical, sensory, mental health or intellectual impairment17.4
Homeless15.2
Traveller14.7
Elderly: Aged 65 years or more13.3
Exceptional medical grounds8.5

Those in private rental accommodation on the 2016 housing waiting list most likely to later enter HAP tenancies

The tenure type on the 2016 housing waiting list most likely to go into HAP tenancies are those living in private rented accommodation with a rent supplement (30.8%), followed by those without a rent supplement (25.5%). The lowest proportions entering HAP were among those living in an institution (10.4%) or owner-occupiers (10.5%). See Figure 1.8.

Table 1.4 below contains the data shown in Figures 1.5 to 1.8, percentage entering HAP from the 2016 housing waiting lists by waiting time, basis of need, classification and tenure.

Tenure TypePercentage in HAP
Private rented accommodation (with rent supplement)30.8
Private rented accommodation (without rent supplement)25.5
Living with friends20.6
Rough sleeper with no accommodation16.5
Living with parents16.3
Living with relatives16.1
Emergency Accommodation/none14.8
Other12.6
Owner occupier10.5
Institution10.4
Show Table: Table 1.4: Percentage Of 2016 Net Waiting List Who Go to HAP by Waiting List Characteristics: Waiting Time, Basis of Need, Classification of Need and Tenure Type

Median annual  earned income of HAP entrants increasing steadily from 2015 to 2018

The median annual household earned income in 2015 was €8,982 for households entering HAP in 2015 and with at least one person in employment. By 2018, tthis had risen to €13,816. See Background Notes and Methodology for explanation of earned income.

In 2015, 35.5% of households entering HAP had some PAYE employment and by 2018 this had risen to 53.9%. The proportion with some self-employment was very small in both 2015 (1.7%) and 2018 (2.9%).

The data within this graph - and by each local authority - can be found in statbank table HAP02.

Year% in PAYE Employment% Self-employed75th Percentile Earned Income (inflation adjusted)25th Percentile Earned Income (inflation adjusted)Median Earned Income (inflation adjusted)
201535.51.71652838568982
201638.72.219192442410168
201747.82.522250572812414
201853.92.924193653913816

Just under 20% of working households who started HAP in 2018 earned less than €5,000 in this year

About one in five (19.3%) households who started in HAP in 2018 and had some earnings in that year had an income of less than €5,000. Just over half (53.1%) earned less than €15,000 while 3.7% earned over €40,000. This data for 2015 to 2018 can be found in statbank table HAP03.

Income GroupPercentage in Income Group
Up to €4,99919.3
€5,000-€9,99917.8
€10,000-€14,99916
€15,000-€19,99912.1
€20,000-€24,99911.5
€25,000-€29,9998.8
€30,000-€34,9996.9
€35.000-€39,9993.8
€40,000-€44,9992.2
€45,000-€49,9990.8
€50,000 and above0.7

Higher percentage of HAP entrants in Dublin, Kildare and Cork City are in employment

The percentage of households with some employment in the year starting in HAP in 2018 was above 62% in the four Dublin local authorities, Kildare and Cork City. The highest rates were 70.6% in Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown followed by 68.1% in Fingal while the lowest rates were in Leitrim (28.8%), Roscommon (33.8%) and Mayo (34.2%). The data within this map, for years 2015 to 2018, can be found in statbank table HAP02.

Median earned income of HAP entrants varies significantly between local authorities

The median household earned income for HAP entrants in 2018 was highest in Cork City (€19,145), Meath (€18,606) and Fingal (€17,374) and lowest in Mayo (€7,842), Leitrim (€8,471) and Carlow (€8,796). The data within this map, for years 2015 to 2018, can be found in statbank table HAP02.

Over 20% of working HAP entrants in 2018 were working in 'Wholesale and Retail Trade'

The Wholesale and Retail trade sector accounted for 20.5% of all working HAP tenants compared with 13.4% of all people at work in Ireland. Accommodation and Food Service Activities was the next highest sector for HAP tenants at 16.6%, more than double the national proportion of 7.9%.

NACE_SectorHAP TenantsAll in Employment
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (A)14.7
Industry (B, C, D & E)8.312.4
Construction (F)4.36.4
Wholesale and Retail Trade (G)20.513.4
Transportation and Storage (H)3.14.3
Accommodation and Food Service Activities (I)16.67.9
Information and Communication (J)1.85.2
Financial and Real Estate (K & L)2.84.9
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (M)2.96.2
Administrative and Support Service Activities (N)14.64.6
Public Administration and Defence (O)2.84.6
Education (P)2.57.5
Human Health and Social Work Activities (Q)12.112.7
Other NACE Activities (R, S, T & U)6.85.2

Rise in those entering HAP who work in 'Human Health and Social Work Activities' sector in 2019

The proportion of working persons entering HAP and who worked in Accommodation and Food Service Activites dropped from 18.7% in 2015 to 16.3% in 2019 while the proportion working in Human Health and Social Work Activities rose from 11.4% to 15.2% over the same time period. This data can be found in statbank table HAP04.

NACE20152016201720182019
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (A)1.811.110.7
Industry (B, C, D & E)9.38.48.48.37.2
Construction (F)4.15.34.34.33.9
Wholesale and Retail Trade (G)21.220.320.320.519.1
Transportation and Storage (H)3.12.93.33.13.1
Accommodation and Food Service Activities (I)18.718.116.716.616.3
Information and Communication (J)1.21.41.61.82
Financial and Real Estate (K & L)2.522.82.84
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities (M)2.62.52.72.92.8
Administrative and Support Service Activities (N)11.913.41414.613.1
Public Administration and Defence (O)2.132.52.82.5
Education (P)2.72.83.12.52.8
Human Health and Social Work Activities (Q)11.412.312.612.115.2
Other NACE Activities (R, S, T & U)7.36.86.66.87.2

Decrease in percentage of households entering HAP who are in receipt of working-age income support  

There was a marked decrease from 51.4% to 37.3% in the proportion of households on working-age income supports between 2015 and 2019, (including unemployment benefit and assistance), in the year they entered HAP. See Figure 1.13.

The percentage of households claiming Children related supports, (including Child Benefit), in the year they entered HAP rose from 48.9% in 2015 to 57.8% in 2018 before dropping to 54.4% in 2019. This data - and by local authority - can be found in statbank table HAP05.

dsp_group20152016201720182019
Children Related Support48.952.655.957.254.4
Illness, Disability and caring Support15.718.318.21818
Other Supplementray Support3.54.54.44.63.9
Pension Support2.22.52.72.62.8
Working-Age Employment Support0.81.61.61.31
Working-Age Income Support51.448.24238.837.3

Decreasing proportion of HAP tenants coming from Rent Supplement

More than 30% of people starting HAP for the first time had been in receipt of rent supplement in the 90 days before starting in HAP in both 2015 and 2016, see Figure 1.14. This proportion dropped over the next few years to 16.3% in 2019 as more people have entered HAP, instead of rent supplement, and the numbers receiving the rent supplement have dropped. Data from this graph can be found in statbank table HAP06.

Start YearPercentage of Tenants Coming from Rent Supplement
201532
201631.1
201723.6
201819.1
201916.3

Over one-fifth of households entering HAP in 2019 were referred from homeless services

The proportion of new HAP households who have been referred from homeless services rose steadily from 3.1% in 2014 to 21.1% by 2019, see Figure 1.15. This data from this graph - and by local authority - can be found in statbank table HAP08.

Start YearPercentage Referred from Homeless Services
20143.1
20155.8
20168.9
201713.2
201816
201921.1

Link to all interactive tables for this publication: Statbank

Go to next chapter: During/After HAP