Anna – Discrimination under the housing assistance ground

In 2018, CLM’s client, Anna, wanted to increase her part-time working hours and she wrote to the Department of Social Protection who recommended that she could do this by switching from the rent supplement scheme to HAP. With this opportunity, she began requesting that her landlord sign the forms to allow her to transition from one payment to the other. Each week when her landlord collected rent, she requested that he sign her HAP form – to which he refused, using excuses such as the flat would need repairs before she could apply for the payment.

Anna’s landlord then sent her a letter notifying her of a rent increase from €480 to €700 from October 2019, stating that HAP would be “acceptable” from that point onwards. When she sought an increase in rent supplement, the Department of Social Protection refused, stating that the actions her landlord were taking were “unlawful” because of the rental cap.

In 2020, Crosscare assisted Anna by writing to her landlord giving him 10 days to sign the form, however, the landlord then refused to complete the form multiple times. This left our client with little option other than making a complaint to the WRC with the assistance of Crosscare and Community Law & Mediation, asserting discrimination under the housing assistance ground. In 2021, Anna’s tenancy came to an end following a complaint to the Residential Tenancies Board. As a result, in the process of making her WRC complaint, with setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic, our client had lost both financial and housing security. In 2022, the WRC found in favour of our client and awarded her €10,000 in compensation.