High HAP payments in Athy area
The number of families availing of the Housing Assistance Payments in Kildare increased by over 70% between 2017 and 2019, a look at the new figures show.
Figures released from the Central Statistics showed there were 2,610 families receiving HAP payments in 2019, compared to 1,510 in 2017, a rise of 73% or an extra 1,100 families.
For the State as a whole the numbers rose 76%.
Last year, 350 families were able to exit the system but 630 started.
Around 61% of people receiving HAP payments in Kildare in 2018 were employed, compared to 53% for the State as a whole.
Another 2.7% were self employed, compared to 2.9% for the State as a whole.
Around 19% of those were in the Maynooth, Celbridge and Leixlip area with the Athy alone housing 19% of HAP payment recipients.
Kildare was relatively high on the 61% jobs measure, with only Dun Laoghaire Rathdown, Fingal, Dublin city, south Dublin and Cork city having higher percentages of working recipients.
The counties with the lowest proportion of HAP recipients in jobs were Mayo (32.5%), Roscommon (30%) and Leitrim (26.6%), where there were 310 families receiving the payment.
Of the families getting the payment in Kildare the largest proportion were single people with one child (22%), followed by a couple with two children (16%), single people (14%).
The CSO said the number of households in HAP has risen every year since the scheme started in 2014.
The most common employment sectors for new entrants to HAP in 2019 were wholesale and retail, accommodation and food and health care.
It said that more than four in ten (44%) HAP tenants spent less than a year on the Local Authority Housing waiting list before entering the scheme, while just over one in ten (12%) waited seven years.
The median household earned income of HAP tenants in employment had risen by 18% two years after entering a HAP tenancy.
In 2018, the median household income for a HAP recipient was €16,355, compared to €13,816 for the State as a whole.