Women are sometimes afraid to leave the family home because they believe or have been told that they will lose their right to it. Laws about property can be complex, so it is crucial to talk to a solicitor or domestic violence support service about this.
If in a crisis situation, a women’s refuge may be your best option. The nearest refuges to West Cork are Cuanlee Refuge in Cork city and Adapt Refuge in Tralee. These have very limited availability, but we can assist you in sourcing alternative accommodation in crisis situations.
Novas is an organization to support those at risk of homelessness or who have become homeless. They have a Coordinator, Patrick Healy in the West Cork area who will actively work with clients and assist them around housing needs. This may involve information and assistance around housing options alongside advocacy where needed. One can self-refer or a referral can be made by ourselves.
Patrick Healy can be contacted on 086 – 827 9996
This is a system which works within the Housing Department and allows fast tracking for someone who Is homeless and can also offer financial support. One needs to be homeless and on the housing list. This system can be accessed by ourselves.
For longer term housing options you may be entitled to:
Local Authority Accommodation
If you are in need of emergency or permanent accommodation, you should contact your local authority for an application form. This form includes an application to assess if you have previously owned a property. The application must be assessed by the local authority, once assessed and deemed eligible for housing, your name goes on the housing list. We can help with this.
If you are an owner or joint owner of a house, common practice is that you cannot access the housing list. However, an exception may be made in relation to cases of Domestic Violence. Advocacy will be needed, and the support workers can support you in both this and any aspect of the application process.
Private Rented Accommodation
One can pay privately or apply for Housing Assistance Payment (HAP). Once an application for social housing has been accepted, you will receive information about HAP and also an application form to complete for same. The normal route for HAP is through the Council / City Housing list. The CWO can assist in giving rent supplement until this process is completed.
Rent Supplement is paid to people living in private rented accommodation who cannot afford the cost of their accommodation from their own income. However, you will not qualify for Rent Supplement if you are in full-time employment. You are expected to contribute towards the rent and the amount of Rent Supplement you can receive is calculated by the Community Welfare Officer (CWO). The amounts paid will vary from area to area and the rules around Rent Supplement are complicated, so it is important to clarify what you are entitled to before you take on a lease. This payment will finish once a HAP payment has been fulfilled.
The Local Authority will draw up a contract with the landlord to provide housing to the renter. The Local Authority pays the rent directly to the landlord and you continue to contribute to your rent but you pay this contribution to your local authority not to your landlord.
One can seek information from your local Citizens Information Service or from your local CWO about the differing levels of payment.
To source accommodation options for women in crisis
Advertisement of private rented accommodation:
• Local estate agents.
• Local newspapers.
• Credit Union community notice boards.
• Local supermarkets notice boards.
Cork Threshold, 7 Fr. Matthew Quay. Tel: 021 – 4270621
(Provides free housing advice and support to people with housing problems).