Sarah – access to housing

We met Sarah at our Blanchardstown legal advice clinic in 2019. Sarah had moved to Ireland with her child in 2015. She had previously owned property in Croatia which was sold before moving to Ireland.

In August 2018, Sarah applied to Fingal County Council (FCC) for access to the housing list. At the time of her application, she was enrolled in a full-time education course which she was due to complete in September 2018. In October of that year, Sarah was notified that her application had been refused based on a failure to: (1) meet the criteria for European Economic Area (EEA) applicants (namely a requirement to prove 52 weeks of employment in the Republic of Ireland); and (2) provide sufficient information regarding how the proceeds of the sale of the property in Croatia were distributed.

Sarah wrote to FCC seeking clarification of the criteria applied to refuse her application. In November 2018, she appealed the decision.

We assisted Sarah in preparing a further letter to FCC detailing her financial situation, employment and education history. This letter highlighted that 52 weeks of employment was not the only method of establishing eligibility for admission to the housing list. We also assisted Sarah in the preparation of an affidavit setting out precisely how the proceeds of the sale of the Croatian property had been used. Further correspondence was exchanged between Sarah and FCC over the course of the following six months and Sarah was ultimately notified that her appeal had been successful and that she would be admitted to the Local Authority’s Housing List.

With the assistance and support provided by CLM, Sarah’s appeal was successful. The FCC re-examined Sarah’s housing application and reversed its decision. This case highlights the importance of appealing the decisions of local housing authorities where it appears that the incorrect criteria or considerations have been applied.