HAP properties decrease in most areas: Search your locality using our interactive map

Number in each electoral area ranged from 32 in Granard to 1,543 in the North Inner City of Dublin

A spokesman for the Department of Housing said the Government was committed to increasing social housing supply. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

More than 80 per cent of local electoral areas have seen a decrease in the number of properties on the housing assistance payment (HAP) over the past year, new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show.

Under the HAP scheme, tenants who qualify for social housing source their own private rental accommodation, but have most of their rent paid directly to their landlord by their local authority.

According to data published by the CSO on Friday, the number of active HAP scheme properties in the State fell by 4.3 per cent to 58,048 as of December 31st 2022, when compared to the same date in 2021.

The number of HAP properties at the end of 2022 ranged from 32 in Granard in Longford to 1,543 in North Inner City in Dublin. These LEAs also had the lowest and highest number of HAP properties in 2020 and 2021.


Of the 166 local electoral areas (LEAs) in the country, 36 had more than 500 HAP properties at the end of 2022, with just over half of these (19) being in Dublin.

The LEA outside of Dublin with the most HAP properties at the end of 2022 was Drogheda Urban in Louth (892), while LEAs in Kerry, Meath, Limerick, Galway, Cork, Wicklow, Waterford, Donegal, and Clare also had more than 500 HAP properties.

More than four-fifths (82.5 per cent) of LEAs had a decrease in HAP properties year-on-year.

The LEA with the biggest relative increase in HAP properties in 2022 from 2021 was Donaghmede in Dublin up 11 per cent, while the largest decrease was in Listowel in Kerry with a 20.2 per cent fall.

Drogheda Urban in Louth and Blanchardstown-Mulhuddart in Dublin had the highest percentage of residential properties as HAP properties at the end of 2022, both with 7.6 per cent.

Stillorgan in Dublin and Granard in Longford had the lowest percentage of residential properties as HAP properties at the end of 2022, both with 0.6 per cent.

A record €515 million was paid to private landlords through HAP last year, according to figures from the Department of Housing, up 45 per cent on the amount paid in 2019.

Representatives from the sector said the rising expenditure highlights the pressure the increasing cost of private rents is placing on tenants and the reliance on the private sector for social housing.

A spokesman for the department said it is committed to decreasing the State’s reliance on the HAP scheme.

“Central to that is significantly scaling up our social housing supply. As new-build supply of social and affordable housing ramps up, there will be reducing reliance on the HAP scheme,” the spokesman said.

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers

Shauna Bowers is Health Correspondent of The Irish Times