To ask the Minister for Housing; Planning and Local Government the status of specific policy and procedural guidance to housing authorities with regard to the role they can play to assist victims of domestic violence to secure new, independent tenancies as required.
My Department’s role in relation to homelessness involves the provision of a national framework of policy, legislation and funding to underpin the role of housing authorities in addressing homelessness at local level. Statutory responsibility in relation to the provision of accommodation and related services for homeless persons rests with individual housing authorities. Responsibility for the provision, funding and oversight of services to support victims of domestic violence, including refuges, rests with Tusla, the Child and Family Agency, under the aegis of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs.
In line with commitments made under Rebuilding Ireland, my Department issued guidance in January 2017 to all local authorities in relation to assisting victims of domestic violence with emergency and long-term accommodation needs. The guidance is also a useful reference for service providers working in the domestic violence services sector, highlighting where they can be of greatest assistance to their clients, covering a range of scenarios that may arise for victims of domestic violence in seeking social housing supports. These include provisions around the use of the Housing Assistance Payment scheme, or the Rental Accommodation Scheme, where a victim has a joint interest in the family home, or ownership of alternative accommodation, but would otherwise qualify for social housing support.
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