Changes to Rent Supplement for survivors of domestic violence welcomed

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galway daily news claire kerrane at dáil

Roscommon-Galway TD Claire Kerrane has welcomed news that Rent Supplement will be made permanently available to survivors of domestic violence.

Deputy Kerrane says she has been raising the issue with Minister Heather Humphreys since May and that that the Minister agreed it was an important support.

The Sinn Féin TD was concerned that access to Rent Supplement has previously placed unnecessary demands on domestic violence survivors and this risked unfairly excluding people who needed support.

“It is very welcome that the Minister has now listened to these concerns and has acted,” said Deputy Kerrane this morning.

“In 2020 a total of 46 survivors of domestic violence availed of Rent Supplement support at a cost of just €73,000. This is a very small cost to the Department of Social Protection, given its Budget allocation.”

She said that that access to housing and housing costs can be a huge worry when a person is contemplating leaving a domestic situation.

“There is also an obvious difficulty given the limited spaces in refuges and the fact that nine Counties have no domestic violence refuge accommodation at all,” added Deputy Kerrane.

“This makes Rent Supplement supports even more important.”