Refusal of housing supports prompts High Court action by couple and granddaughter

A couple and their teenage granddaughter have launched a legal challenge over South Dublin Co Council's refusal to grant them various social housing supports.
Refusal of housing supports prompts High Court action by couple and granddaughter

A couple and their teenage granddaughter have launched a legal challenge over South Dublin Co Council's refusal to grant them various social housing supports.

The three who are EU nationals claim their application was refused because the grandparents could not satisfy a requirement to provide evidence that they have 52 weeks of continuous employment in the state.

The parties, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, claim the requirement to provide evidence of 52 weeks continuous employment, contained in a 2012 Housing Circular issued by the Department of Housing, has no basis in law.

The grandparents have been living in Ireland since 1998.

While their children live elsewhere in Ireland, their granddaughter has resided with the couple since she was an infant, the High Court heard on Monday.

The live in private rented accommodation in Dublin, and have on several occasions since 2015 applied to South Dublin Co Council for various payments by way of social housing supports.

Last March the council deemed their application ineligible.

They claim the decision and the Council’s reliance on the circular stipulating that the grandparents must show evidence of 52 weeks continuous employment breaches their rights.

The applicants, represented by Siobhan Phelan SC instructed by solicitors for FLAC, seek an order quashing the Council's decision of March 11th last refusing to deem them eligible for housing supports.

Their judicial review proceedings are against South Dublin Co Council, the Minister for Housing and Local Government and the Attorney General.

They further seeks declarations including that the Council’s decision is unlawful and unreasonable, and is in breach of their Constitutional rights and rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Permission to bring the action was granted on an ex-parte basis by Mr Justice Charles Meenan yesterday (Monday.)

The case will come back before the court in July.

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