Thursday, 3 February 2022
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
254. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if domestic violence victims are prioritised for transfer in local authority housing; if so, the way in which they are prioritised; if other protocols are in place to assist those fleeing domestic violence; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5632/22]
Where a victim of domestic violence applies for social housing support in their own right while still a joint tenant, it is a matter for the relevant local authority to address issues arising in relation to the joint tenancy agreement. Accordingly, the household may transfer out of their existing tenancy and into a new tenancy agreement with the local authority or they may access an independent tenancy in the private rented sector utilising the various housing supports offered by the State.
Where a victim of domestic violence presents to local authority overseen homeless services the authority should ensure the case is referred to a specialist domestic violence service so any care needs can be considered and addressed. Victims may have needs beyond what can be provided via local authorities by way of emergency accommodation, and specialist legal or medical assistance may be required. As an immediate and short term response, a local authority may provide short-term emergency housing to persons forced to leave their homes because of domestic violence, without having to assess their eligibility for social housing support.
My Department issued policy and procedural guidance to local authorities on the role they can play to assist victims of domestic violence. The guidance is also a useful reference for service providers, highlighting where they can be of greatest assistance to their clients, covering a range of scenarios that may arise for victims of domestic violence currently in receipt of social housing support and those seeking social housing supports.