Father of six challenges council decision he fears could leave his family homeless

A father of six has launched a High Court challenge against a decision by Westmeath Co Council which he fears could leave his family homeless, writes Ann O’Loughlin.

The action has been brought by Abdirahim Daley arising out of the Council’s decision he does not qualify for social housing supports because the family net income exceeds the maximum threshold set down for his household. 

Mr Daley who lives with his wife and children in rented accommodation at Willow Park Avenue, Athlone, Co Westmeath claims the Council’s decision is flawed and should be set aside.

 

Both he and his wife are unemployed and are in receipt of job seekers and rent supplement allowances. Mr Daley also receives a carer’s allowance in respect of one of his children.

Last May the owner of the accommodation the Daley’s are renting said he was considering putting the property up for sale resulting in their tenancy coming to an end. 

In a search for new accommodation Mr Daley applied to the Council for social housing allowances, but the request was refused.

The Council deemed Mr Daley was not entitled to the social housing supports because the household’s net income of €30,200 exceeds the €28,750.level set for two adults and six children.

The decision to refuse to consider the application for social housing supports also has the effect of removing him from a social housing list.  

At the High Court today Feichin McDonagh SC for Mr Daley said the Council included the carers allowance his client receives as part of the family’s income.

The Council was not entitled to do that, Mr McDonagh said.

It had failed to have regard for the fact the State’s 2011 Regulations ’Social Housing Support Household Means Policy which expressly excludes carers allowance from consideration when it comes to assessing a person’s housing needs.

The Council had erred in law by refusing to accept the application, Mr McDonagh submitted.   

In his proceedings against Westmeath Co Council Mr Daley seeks an order quashing the local authorities determination of October 19th last in relation to the assessment of Mr Daley’s means .

He also seeks an order from the court his application for social housing allowances be sent back to the Council for reconsideration.  

Permission to bring the action against the Council was granted, on an ex-parte basis, by Mr Justice Seamus Noonan.

The matter was adjourned to a date in March. 

KEYWORDS: Court

 

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