New measures announced by the Government mean landlords will no longer be able to discriminate against tenants because they receive rent supplement, housing assistance payment or social welfare.
Announcing the measure, Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said: “It is a common practice for advertisements in relation to rental accommodation to say that rent supplement is not accepted.
“This practice has a harmful effect on persons seeking to rent accommodation and the Government has therefore decided to prohibit such discrimination.”
“The necessary amendments to equality legislation will be made in the context of a Private Members’ Bill, the Employment Equality (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill, which is currently before the Seanad.”
It is expected that amendments be published in the current parliamentary term and enacted shortly after.
Focus Ireland welcomed the news that the Government is moving to prohibit discrimination against tenants in receipt of rent supplement.
However, the charity stressed that this move alone will not act to improve access to rented accommodation for people relying on rent supplement.
Focus Ireland Director of Advocacy Mike Allen said: “This is a positive move but it’s important to highlight that it is often not the people that landlords don’t want to accept as tenants.
“It is the very rent supplement system itself they feel will not work for them as a landlord so this needs to also be addressed by the Government to help more people who are homeless or at risk to gain access to a secure home in the rental market,” he said.