Sinn Féin propose changes to social housing for domestic violence victims

Sinn Féin propose changes to social housing for domestic violence victims

Sinn Féin is seeking to change the law so that victims of domestic violence can be considered for social housing.

Currently, a victim who is a joint owner of a house may not be considered in need of housing if they flee because of domestic violence.

Sinn Féin TD Dessie Ellis put forward a change to the domestic violence legislation in the Dáil this morning.

"The fact that the victim is part-owner of a property with their abuser is considered to mean they do not have a housing need," he said.

"This requirement makes sense for most other situations, but in the case of a victim fleeing an abusive home, it completely disregards the special circumstances and the danger the victim faces in their home."

The coalition, however, is opposing the Sinn Féin proposal, saying such situations are already provided for.

Junior Environment and Housing Minister Paudie Coffey said the Sinn Féin bill gives the wrong impression about the current situation.

"Contrary to the impression given in the bill, a household that has left the family home because of a marital breakdown or, indeed, domestic violence, and is otherwise qualified for social housing support, can access certain forms of social housing support until the future ownership of the family home is determined."

He said new legislation was passed and has been in effect since September, and his department will issue advisories to the relevant bodies to ensure it is being correctly applied.


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