Updated: 21/12/16 : 05:04:08
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Sligo council accused of discrimination

'Sligo County Council cannot deny an Irish citizen the right to be placed on the housing list because she is married to a citizen of another E.U. state', declared Cllr Declan Bree at this weeks Municipal District meeting of the Council.

The Independent councillor had tabled a motion calling on the Chief Executive of the Council to explain why the woman and her family were deemed ineligible for social housing support.

Speaking at the meeting Cllr Bree said, “The case I refer to relates to a constituent of mine, her husband who is a Spanish citizen and their two children.  

“Having submitted a valid application the family was considered eligible for social. housing support and was placed on the Council Housing list back in 2010.

“In the intervening period the woman and family has been receiving a rent supplement to assist in covering the rent of their accommodation.

“However following a Council review the woman and her family received a letter from the Council on the 30th of August this year stating that they were ineligible for social housing support and the letter went on to refer to a Housing Circular relating to applicants from EU member states."

Homeless


Cllr Bree continued, “This woman and her family will shortly be having their rent supplement reviewed and they know the rent supplement will be stopped because the Council has deemed them ineligible for social housing.  This in effect will leave the family homeless and on the street.

“I have to say that I find it shocking and unacceptable that the Council executive would act in such a manner.  This woman and her family are upset, distressed and at their wits end worrying about their future and the future of their seven year old and five year old daughters and where they will find accommodation when they lose their rent allowance.

“The woman feels she is being discriminated against by the Council because she happens to be married to a Spanish citizen.   That is my view also.

“As far as I am concerned the decision of the executive to deem this family ineligible for social housing is wrong and must be overturned as a matter of urgency.” said Cllr Bree.

Responding, the Chief Executive of the Council Mr Ciarán Hayes told the meeting he was not prepared to discuss “an individual case”.

Cllr Bree said he would be raising the matter again at the next meeting if the family was not reinstated on the Council’s housing waiting list.