Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Housing allocation discriminates against single people and lone parents

28 February, 2006

Cllr. Tony Smithers of Sinn Féin has accused the Minister of State for Housing Noel Ahern of implementing a policy of discrimination against single people and lone parents as regards housing and how points are allocated to people on this basis. Cllr. Smithers pointed out that single people and lone parents account for 90% of those on the housing list - single people are 52.4% and lone parents are 37.6% of all applicants respectively.

He said: "The Minister Noel Ahern is implementing a very unfair policy as regards how houses are allocated by local authorities to people. At present 90% of all housing applicants are either single people or lone parents and these people are being discriminated against by the method by which points are allocated to people in various categories. Currently, all applicants are awarded 5 points initially when they apply for housing. For those with partners, 20 points are allocated. For each child per applicant, 3 points are awarded.

"Effectively, this system gives those with partners an unfair advantage over all the others regardless of time spent on the housing list, which means that their chances of ever being housed are seriously diminished. For this system to be made fairer, I am calling upon the Minister to allocate 20 points to all of the above - that is 20 points for all initial applicants, 20 points for a partner and 20 points for each child. This would create a more level playing field while also taking into account particular urgent needs.

"I have asked Dublin City Council to write a letter to the Minister in regard to this situation and ask why this is happening. I would also be happy to discuss this situation with the Minister, preferably in public, and if he is not willing to discuss this, then ask him why he insists on implementing this unjust and unfair policy." ENDS

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