Housing - Priority Transfer
In 2016, CLM Limerick assisted a family who were living in unsuitable accommodation. The client attended one of CLM Limerick’s legal advice clinics to seek help with her housing situation. The client was living with her two adult daughters in a 2-bedroom house. This property was allocated to her by the local authority as a temporary measure, following the demolition of their original house, which was demolished as part of a regeneration scheme in 2009. The client and her daughters had significant medical needs, and the property in which they were living was damp, overcrowded, and unsuited to the needs of the family. The medical needs of one of the daughters could not be met in this property and there was significant evidence from her doctors that the property was not suitable. CLM Limerick’s client had been informed, following her initial transfer to the tenancy, that this would be a temporary move and that a more appropriate dwelling would be allocated to her and her family. She had been a local authority tenant for over 19 years. She stated that she felt she was getting nowhere with the local authority and that they were ignoring her.
CLM Limericks input
CLM Limerick wrote to the local authority on behalf of the client, setting out the poor condition of the house. CLM Limerick also sought confirmation that the family were on the transfer list, and that they had been allocated priority on this list given their significant medical needs. Following this correspondence, an engineer was engaged by the local authority to assess the property. The engineer detailed the remedial works that would be required to bring the property up to standard. An electrician was engaged to carry out repairs. CLM Limerick continued to write to the local authority seeking clarification on the transfer status but received no response. CLM Limerick requested a copy of the client’s file from the local authority on foot of a Freedom of Information Act 2014 request. On receipt of the file, CLM Limerick reviewed the documentation and it was clear that the client had not been placed on the transfer list and had not been allocated priority. CLM Limerick raised this issue on the client’s behalf with the local authority and a transfer application was completed. We sought confirmation that the family would be allocated priority on medical grounds. CLM Limerick received a response from the local authority, stating that they were not approved for a transfer and that they were deemed to be “adequately housed”. CLM Limerick wrote to the local authority seeking to appeal the decision to refuse priority, in light of the significant medical evidence, which confirmed that the present accommodation was not suitable. We received a response that the local authority would grant priority on the transfer list on compassionate grounds. CLM Limerick advocated with housing bodies to support the family’s application for a transfer to accommodation within a new development in the city. The family were allocated a new tenancy of a 3-bedroom property within this new development.
When the client first attended CLM Limerick’s legal advice clinic, she was living in a 2-bedroom house with two adult daughters, which was unsuitable for her family’s needs. It was damp and overcrowded and the family’s health was suffering as a result. The family have been re-housed in a new development to a property more suited to their needs and as a result, they now enjoy a better quality of life.