New Policy May Leave People Homeless – O’Leary
Cllr Chris O’Leary has hit out at Cork City Council’s new policy of informing Community Welfare Officers after housing applicants have refused two offers of housing. The applicants then face the possibility of having Rent Allowance withdrawn, leaving some vulnerable to becoming homeless.
Cllr O’Leary was speaking after the City Manager confirmed the Council was implementing the new policy at the behest of the Department of the Environment.
“There are an unknown number of people on the housing list because they need Rent Allowance to pay for accommodation and must be on the list in order to claim it. Under the new policy, these face having their benefit withdrawn if they turn down two offers of council housing.”
“There are others who genuinely want to be housed by the council, but the offers they receive may be unsuitable for a number of reasons – because the accommodation is in an area away from their families or is being targeted by anti-social elements. These people are also being penalised by the council’s policy, facing not just withdrawal of benefits but being taken off the housing list for twelve months.”
“What this amounts to is yet another example of the government attempting to save money by penalising the least well-off in our society, while it shovels billions into the zombie banks that have brought the country to its knees. This policy risks tipping hundreds of individuals and families into crisis and causing increased homelessness.”
For further information contact Cllr Chris O’Leary @ 087-2794307