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Tag Archives: HAP

Discrimination against Clare

Kerry and Limerick families can earn €5k more and access housing assistance THE plight of working families who are unable to access housing support because of “bizarre geographical discrimination” was highlighted in a joint motion from seven councillors at the May local authority meeting. The matter was raised by Councillors Cillian Murphy, Gerry Flynn, Tony O’Brien, Johnny Flynn, Shane Talty, Pat O’Gorman and Pat Hayes who called on the housing minister to review the maximum household income thresholds as a matter of urgency. Councillor Murphy outlined his concerns by describing a hypothetical case of a young woman, with three small children. “She works part time in a local business and earns €180 per week,” he said. “She gets income support of €152 and one parent allowance of €226 per week. “She is separated and doesn’t receive any maintenance, so her grand total income is €558 per week. Her rent is €165 per week and she pays out €240 every week …

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New figures reveal extent of West Clare housing need

THE plight of a family of seven, living in a two-bedroom apartment has been highlighted by a West Clare councillor. Councillor Ian Lynch told the January Municipal District Meeting he knew of a number of families whose children had been hoping Santa would give them a new home for Christmas. The Independent councillor secured figures showing a total of 704 people in the area on the housing list, with the greatest level of demand in Kilrush (135), Ennistymon (105), Kilkee (68), Corofin (61) and Miltown (53). “In response, the only housing that we’ve come up with is 57 new houses and 33 vacant units,” he said. “Matching that reality with peoples’ expectations is a huge problem. I have a number of families that are in desperate, desperate need of a large house. I have a five-child family in a two-bedroom apartment who are crying out for assistance. They recently applied for a three-bedroom house, but were told it wouldn’t suit …

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New Direct Provision report gets qualified welcome from Knockalisheen resident

A CLARE-based migrants’ rights activist has given a broad welcome to a ground-breaking new report which recommends that the Direct Provision system should end by 2021. A publication compiled by an expert advisory panel working under the stewardship of Dr Catherine Day will now inform a White Paper being put together on the issue of accommodating those seeking asylum in Ireland. Bulelani Mfaco lives at the State-owned Knockalisheen direct provision centre, and is a prominent member of the Movement of Asylum Seekers of Ireland (MASI). The South African was also a member of Dr Day’s expert advisory committee. While MASI, who made a detailed submission last year to the committee, welcomed recommendations on the provision of housing, healthcare, and welfare payments to asylum seekers who do not stay in reception centres, it highlighted areas that continued to be of concern. Mr Mfaco noted that asylum seekers would continue to be open to discrimination under the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). In …

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Homeless mother at breaking point

A HOMELESS mother-of-two says she is at breaking point over the stress of having to move from hotels to bed and breakfast accommodation in recent weeks. Last July, the woman, who has an 18-month-old son and a 16-year-old daughter, who is in the care of a relative until she gets a house, got an initial four-week termination notice from a house in South-East Clare. Following another two-week notice to quit the property, which involved receiving a Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) from the council, she was officially declared homeless on August 31. The woman, who does not wish to be named, has asked the council to allocate a house for her and her son as quickly as possible on humanitarian grounds. Since the receipt of the notice, she told The Clare Champion she has been forced to move with her baby son between the Auburn Lodge Hotel, Treacy’s West County and various bed and breakfasts. Having spent the last three weeks …

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On the move for ninth time in seven months

A MOTHER of four, three of whom are aged 13 or younger, has told The Clare Champion that the family has lived at eight different addresses around Clare since moving out of long-term rented accommodation in Connolly last September. In recent weeks, Deirdre McGrath and her children have lived in Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)-funded rented accommodation in Kilfenora but must move out this week. Up to securing that accommodation, the mother and her three younger children lived in friends’ houses across the county. “We took on a lease in Kilfenora but within a month, we got a notice of termination. The landlord’s circumstances have changed and he wishes to move back in,” Deirdre McGrath explained. She said it is very difficult to find accommodation where the landlord will accept HAP. “The consequences of HAP is landlords have to invest money into the dwelling to bring it up to standard. The guidelines can be quite tight,” she said. HAP is a …

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