Wicklow TD Anne Ferris has welcomed the news that the Government has decided to give the green light to new legislation which will make illegal the practice of landlords refusing to rent property to people on rent supplement. “Finally the days of landlords discriminating against prospective tenants because they are on rent supplement are numbered”, said Deputy Anne Ferris.
“Prospective tenants will no longer be turned down by landlords simply because they are in receipt of rent supplement or a housing assistance payment. The notion that they are somehow seen as a substandard category of tenant is ludicrous, and has a very harmful effect on those affected. This is an issue that I raised many times with Ministers as it is one that comes up on a regular basis at my clinics. I also feel strongly that particular property websites should be taken to task for allowing ads that say that rent supplement won’t be accepted.
“Indeed I felt so strongly about this issue that I tabled a Motion to the Labour Party Conference which is due to take place in Killarney at the end of February. It is clear to me that the government decided to take on board my very strong views on this issue and today (Thursday) I learned that Minister Aodhain Ó Ríordáin is to introduce amendments to the Employment Equality (Amendment) No. 2 Bill which is currently before the Seanad. It is expected that the amendments will be published in the current parliamentary term and the Bill enacted shortly afterwards,. This is great news for the many families in Co. Wicklow who have found it almost impossible to find rented accommodation because landlords were refusing to take people on rent supplement”, concluded Deputy Ferris.