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Robert Sullivan (Letters, May 24) questions the need for the existence of Threshold, the National Housing Charity.
Threshold plays a crucial role in helping people with their housing problems and preventing people from becoming homeless. In the current difficult economic climate, with increased levels of unemployment, debt, and mortgage and rent arrears, our services are needed more than ever. The demand for our services is clearly evidenced by the fact that nationally our advice offices dealt with close to 20,000 queries in 2010.
Founded by a Cork man, Fr. Donal O’Mahony, more than 30 years ago with the aim of upholding the rights of people to good quality accommodation, Threshold continues to work with some of the most vulnerable people in society by providing independent advice and advocacy services and delivering housing supports for those who are at risk of homelessness.
The organisation works on a daily basis with both landlords and tenants to resolve housing problems, to negotiate and mediate solutions and works to ensure that landlords and tenants comply with their obligations under housing law and that the rights of both are upheld.
Threshold works to resolve problems at the earliest possible opportunity in the interest of both landlords and tenants, thereby avoiding the need for cases to the taken to the PTRB. We firmly believe that it is everyone’s interest that disputes are resolved informally, where at all possible. Where it is necessary for disputes to be heard by the PRTB, Threshold provides representation to tenants to ensure their rights under housing law are upheld.
In addition to providing information and advice, Threshold delivers tenancy sustainment services giving people we work with the necessary practical supports to get back on their feet and to live independently in the community. We also help people find suitable accommodation in the private rented sector — something we could not achieve without working closely with landlords.
Far from being anti-landlord, Threshold is keenly aware of the critical role that landlords have to play in an effectively functioning private rented sector.
Threshold continues to have a critical role to play as a frontline service provider in helping people with housing problems and preventing people from becoming homeless.
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