Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection
Rent Supplement Scheme
1033. To ask the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if further consideration has been given to a domestic violence rent supplement payment; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [11579/20]
Lead responsibility for the development and provision of services to support victims of domestic violence rests with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. The co-ordination of the services addressing the needs of these customers is managed by The Child and Family Agency, Tusla. Victims of domestic violence accommodation needs are met through this joined-up service delivery model provided by Tusla with the close involvement of the various housing authorities nationwide.
In response to a proposal from Safe Ireland, I am introducing a relaxation of the means-test normally required to qualify for Rent Supplement - support with deposit payments and rent costs - for an initial three months for victims of domestic violence. After three months, the individual’s ongoing entitlement will be reviewed based on the normal means-test for the scheme. After six months, the claimant can apply to their local housing authority for an assessment of their housing needs and, if eligible, will be able to access HAP or other social housing supports.
An agreed protocol will be drawn up with TUSLA to enable services funded by the agency to make referrals to my Department for access to rent supplement for victims of domestic violence through a dedicated channel. My Department will also accept direct referrals through nominated contact points in An Garda Siochána, Tusla and the HSE.
I trust this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.