Thursday 26 April 2018

Homeless family settle legal action against South Dublin County Council after being 'satisfactorily housed'

High Court Dublin
High Court Dublin

Tim Healy

A homeless family of seven who were living mostly in one hotel bedroom since February have settled their legal action after being "satisfactorily housed", the High Court heard. 

The settlement means the court will not have to decide what Mr Justice Seamus Noonan described as “very significant wide-ranging ” issues concerning the duties of local authorities and the State to homeless people in acute housing need,

The unemployed couple and five children, aged up to seven, including a baby born into homelessness, have been in ten temporary accommodations in four years and in a hotel since February. 

They claimed the hotel was not an "adequate home” and failed to meet South Dublin County Council’s statutory responsibilities to them.

Their case sought to have the court address the council's responsibilities under the Housing Acts and whether the Minister for Housing had failed to vindicate their rights, particularly those of the children, under the Constitution and European Convention on Human Rights Act.

They were evicted from other homeless hotel accommodation at an hour’s notice three days before last Christmas, shortly after the youngest was born.  

The council alleged they were subject of "multiple warnings" regarding their behaviour and a "credible threat" was made to the general manager of that hotel on December 21.

They said they got no opportunity to address the complaints and council breached its duties by revoking their accommodation before identifying alternative accommodation. 

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