One in four households in receipt of HAP payments needs top-up
One in four households in receipt of the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) needs a top-up from local authorities to keep them in their homes.
New figures show all councils except Leitrim are using discretionary powers to increase payments to landlords beyond approved limits.
Two councils, Mayo and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, show more than 70pc of tenants need top-ups. More than half in Fingal and Galway city also need extra help.
HAP is a social housing support where city and county councils pay rent directly to landlords. Tenants are charged a rent based on income.
Limits are set in each local authority, which range from €450 per month for a couple/single adult and three children in Longford, to €1,300 in the four Dublin councils.
Some 36,000 households are supported under the scheme, which costs €301m a year.
The average rate of discretionary payment was 15.4pc above agreed limits. The maximum is 20pc.
The report also shows that of 5,938 households which exited HAP tenancies to date, some 1,105 transferred to other forms of social housing provided by local authorities.