04 Oct 2022

Louth senator welcomes rent supplement for victims of domestic violence

Louth senator welcomes  rent supplement for victims of domestic violence

Senator Erin McGreehan

Louth Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan has welcomed the announcement by the Government that access to rent supplement for victims of domestic violence is to become permanent.

The protocol to assist victims of domestic violence in accessing rent supplement was introduced in response to the Pandemic.
The Government confirmed last week that the temporary measure will be made a permanent feature of the Rent Supplement Scheme.

This measure ensures that victims of domestic violence can continue to get immediate access to rent supplement for a three month period to ensure that they are not prevented from leaving their home because of financial concerns.

Senator McGreehan said: “This is very welcome. I worked on the advice of Women’s Aid Dundalk at the beginning of the first lockdown to push for rent supplements to happen.

"It makes sense that it is going to be continued. It is another step along the way to protect and empower victims of domestic violence to escape to safety.

“It must be remembered that when a victim moves from their home, it is the point where they are at most risk of serious violence and there needs to be a wrap-around support for an entire family at this vulnerable time.”

The usual rent supplement means test will not apply for this three month period.

After the initial three-month period, a further three-month extension may be provided, subject to the usual rent supplement means assessment.

After six months, if the tenant has a long-term housing need, they can apply to their local housing authority for social housing supports and, if eligible, will be able to access the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP), a social housing support provided by Local Authorities.

The announcement follows a review of its impact since being introduced in August 2020.

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