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Children homeless for two years after suffering domestic abuse

This report provides details of an investigation we carried out on a complaint we received in October 2014. We received this complaint from a parent on behalf of her children. She told us that she and the children had left their home due to domestic violence and waited almost two years to be housed. They stayed in a women’s refuge for three months and emergency accommodation for a year and a half. She advised that she was not happy with the length of time that she and her children were in emergency accommodation and the quality of accommodation provided. Three public bodies were involved:

  1. Fingal County Council (FCC): this local authority is responsible for providing social housing support for people who cannot provide it for themselves.
  2. New Communities’ Unit (NCU): This unit was set up in the late 1990s by the then health boards to cater for people leaving the direct provision system. Its primary function is to ensure that anyone entitled to social welfare benefits receives them. The Department of Social Protection assumed responsibility for the NCU in 2011.
  3. Dublin Regional Housing Executive (DRHE): The DRHE was established in 2011 and replaced the Homeless Agency. It is the lead statutory authority for homelessness in Dublin and adopts a shared service approach across the four Dublin local authorities – Dublin City Council, South Dublin County Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council and FCC