Minister for Social Protection, Heather Humphreys TD, has today announced that victims of domestic violence will be granted easier access to rent supplement on a permanent basis.
The protocol to assist victims of domestic violence in accessing rent supplement was introduced in response to the Pandemic.
Today, the Minister has confirmed 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.
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 Minister’s announcement follows a review of its impact since being introduced in August 2020.
Commenting on the measure, Minister Humphreys said:
“I am very pleased to make the temporary access to rent supplement for victims of domestic violence a permanent feature of the scheme.
“While this measure was introduced during the pandemic, I recognise that the underlying rationale for this support will be required after the impact of the pandemic has receded and long into the future.
“As a result of the changes I am introducing today, victims of domestic violence will continue to benefit from the relaxation of the means-test normally required to qualify for Rent Supplement for an initial three months.
“After three months, the individual’s ongoing entitlement will be reviewed based on the normal means-test for the scheme.
“I introduced this measure on foot of an agreed protocol 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.
“It is a valuable support for people who endure what can be a silent and terrifying experience.”
In the period to August 2020 to September 2021, 144 victims of domestic violence availed of the rent supplement measure.
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