Rent supplement for domestic abuse survivors helps those “at most risk” of violence

Willie O'Dea TD Picture: Keith Wiseman
Willie O'Dea TD Picture: Keith Wiseman

THE Government has announced that access to rent supplement for people escaping from domestic abuse is to become permanent.

The protocol to assist victims of domestic abuse in accessing rent supplement was introduced in response to the Pandemic. The Government has now confirmed that the temporary measure will be made a permanent feature of the Rent Supplement Scheme. This measure ensures that victims of domestic abuse 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.

Deputy O’Dea said: “This is very welcome as I have assisted domestic violence victims in Limerick in relation to this issue in the past and it makes sense that these women can now get immediate access to rent supplement. 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 announcement means that the usual rent supplement means test will not apply for this three-month period.

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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.