553 Families Prevented from Becoming Homeless in Dublin Region

From June 2014 –March 2015 the Tenancy Protection Service supported 4,121 callers with advice and information

Public Awareness Campaign Launched to Encourage People to Contact Tenancy Protection Service on FREEPHONE 1800 454 454

From June 2014 to end March 2015, 553 families who are renting in the Greater Dublin Area have been prevented from becoming homeless under a prevention initiative led by the four Dublin local authorities and delivered by the Tenancy Protection Service (TPS), operated by Threshold.

The Tenancy Protection Service can be contacted through FREEPHONE 1800 454 454 and callers will receive the following prompt interventions, if they are at risk of losing their home:

Immediate guidance about rights as tenants and landlord obligations 

Negotiation between tenant and landlord to resolve problems and take further action if needed, including the referral of a clear dispute to the Private Residential Tenancies Board 

For rent supplement customers, an application for an uplift in payment can be made to the Department of Social Protection for families/couples or individuals, who are facing a rent increase and who are at risk of becoming homeless (refer to editors notes) 

Referral to Tenancy Sustainment Services provided by Focus Ireland and the Dublin Simon Community if required at early point of contact. 

During the period June 2014 to March 2015, the Tenancy Protection Service received 4,121 calls, of these 2,202 households were diverted from homeless services through the provision of legal information and advice.

A further 1,919 were assessed as being ‘at risk’ of homelessness. Of these, 553 tenancies were protected, including 462 who were in receipt of an uplift in payment in their rent supplement with the remaining 91 tenancies sustaining their tenancy, as a result of TPS advocacy work. 

Preventing homelessness in the first instance and supporting people to retain their homes is one of the main priorities of central government, statutory services and state-funded homeless services. The TPS is operating against the backdrop of a significant increase in families and individuals contacting local authorities and homeless services for emergency accommodation, primarily due to the loss of their homes in the private rented sector. The TPS has been providing this service on behalf of the Dublin local authorities since June 2014 and on behalf of Cork City Council since the end of January this year.

The four Dublin local authorities provided emergency accommodation for 411 families in March 2015 (DATA for March 23rd – 29th 2015); this does not include the additional accommodation provided on a nightly basis for single individuals. In addition, 1,692 adults were accommodated in emergency accommodation across the Dublin region (DATA for December 31st 2014)

The second phase of a public awareness campaign is taking place in the Dublin region and is also extended to the Cork City Council area (the first phase took place when service was initiated in Dublin in June 2014). The campaign is one of a number of key actions arising from the Government Summit on Homelessness in December 2014, led by Ministers Alan Kelly T.D. and Paudie Coffey T.D. A number of actions have been either fully completed or significantly progressed by the four Dublin local authorities (lead Dublin City Council) and state-funded voluntary homeless services. 

The campaign includes a range activity featuring the FREEPHONE number on outdoor billboards, transport links throughout Dublin and Cork for an initial four week period, encouraging people to get in contact. Focus Ireland have also provided an APP Home for Good, in support of the prevention initiative and this summarizes key information for people who are at risk to download directly to their phone. 

-ENDS-

To arrange interviews or for further information please contact:

Lisa Kelleher

Head of Communications and Training

Dublin Region Homeless Executive

 

 

NOTES TO EDITOR

Tenancy Sustainment Protocol 

The uplift in payment is based on a Tenancy Sustainment Protocol arrangement between the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, four Dublin local authorities, Threshold and the Department of Social Protection. The protocol is in place to protect existing tenancies, when the household is a rent supplement client and is at risk of losing home as a result of the landlord intention to increase the rent payable.

Access to Tenancy Protection Service 

Dublin: Contact FREEPHONE 1800 454 454 from 9am to 9pm 

Cork: Contact FREEPHONE 1800 454 454 from 9.30am to 5pm 

Families or individuals at risk are assessed immediately on the grounds that they have received notice of arrears, notice of termination, warning letter, letter of rent increase, or have been threatened with an illegal eviction.

Prevention Initiative

This prevention initiative is provided by the Dublin Region Homeless Executive, four Dublin local authorities, Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Department of Social Protection, Threshold, Focus Ireland and the Dublin Simon Community.

 
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