The Housing assistance payment is a form of housing support for people who have a long-term housing need provided by your local authority. Usually given to people who can’t pay their rent. The city council will pay part of a person’s rent. You can be employed full-time and still receive housing support. You have your rent paid for by the city council directly to your landlord although you have to pay a weekly rent contribution to your local authority. The rent you pay will be an amount of money and the amount you pay will be based on your income and ability to pay.

Housing Assistance Payment - How to Apply for HAP

When you qualify for a housing assistance payment, you have to find your own apartment within the rent limits in your area. You have to find a house that privately-owned to rent within the vicinity applied for. The rental agreement range between yourself and the landlord and your tenancy will be covered by residential tenancies legislation. 

In the meantime, landlords not allowed to refuse to let out the apartment to you when they find out that you are applying under a housing assistance payment scheme and they cannot refuse to accept HAP payments. Payments will be made on the last Wednesday of each month, subject to terms and conditions and including rent limits. All rent contributions will be made through a post’s household budget scheme. All money transactions are made online.

If you are sharing accommodation with your landlord, you are entitled to claim a housing assistance payment. The residential tenancies legislation applies to you if you rent a flat in your landlord’s apartment. Your landlord must register with the residential tenancies board. However, if you are renting a room, RTB does not apply to you. Plus, there is no need for your landlord to register.

Who is eligible for a housing assistance payment?

To be able to apply for housing assistance payment, you must be on the local authority’s housing list. Meaning that you must be approved for social housing support. Rent supplement recipients who qualify for social housing support are transferred to the housing assistance payment system based on a phased basis. You can’t apply for a housing assistance payment if you are currently housed by your local authority. To find out of you qualify for social housing support, contact your local authority directly.

How to apply for a housing assistance payment

In order to be eligible for a housing assistance payment, you need to fill out a social housing support application form which is available from your local authority. You need to send a completed form to your local authority along with all of the documents needed. You will get a list of these documents on your local authority social housing support application form.

Ask for a HAP application form from the local authority if you are already on the housing list. Fill out the form when you have found suitable accommodation. But if you already live in private rented accommodation and are eligible to transfer to a housing assistance payment. You can still fill out the application form. The landlord must agree to rent out their property to the housing assistance payment tenant. Also, need to complete and sign part of the housing assistance payment application form.

You need to sign a rent contribution agreement with the local authority. After agreeing on a tenancy with your landlord, return the completed form to your local authority. People who have been getting rent supplements for a long time usually 18 months or more may get a letter from the department of social protection asking them to contact the local authority to apply for social housing support. Apply within 6 weeks of being asked to do so.

Rates of payment

The amount of rent you pay is based on your income. It is estimated in the same way as the rent paid by a tenant of a property owned by the local authority. Payment will be made directly to your landlord on every last Wednesday of each month. Limits for HAP are based on the total number of people living in a house.

Your landlord and tenancy

 the local authority makes payments when you provide a valid application form from you and your landlord. If you move to a property before any of this process you will have to pay the due rent by yourself. It is mandatory to pay your rent contribution to your local authority or else the HAP may be ultimately stopped.

Finding your accommodation

The local authority makes it compulsory to find a private rental property that is within the housing assistance payment rent limits. Your local authority will inform you about what the rent limits are. If the monthly rent agreement is above the rent limit for the locality. You have to pay the difference to your landlord. The accommodation will be inspected by the local authority for 8 months of the HAP. In other to ensure your accommodation meets the rental housing standards. Payment can be made online or have it automatically deducted from your bank account.

However, housing assistance payment is a wonderful scheme for people who can’t afford to pay their rent. Check your city council for how to apply.