A 19-year-old triplet, Siobhan Devine, with special needs was forced to spend all her savings on residential care rent after it took Kildare County Council a year to approve her rent supplment.
Siobhan’s mum is Sally Devine, from Milltown who in total has four daughters, Colleen aged 21 who has ADHD and 19-year-old triplets Siobhan, Sinead and Niamh who all have Global Development Delay. Siobhan also has severe challenging behaviour and is on the autistic spectrum.
“Siobhan moved to residential care last September,” said Sally, who only heard last week that her application has finally been approved.
“We applied to KCC to get her on the social housing list and in November I was advised that we needed to re-apply with her new address as her application under her old address in Milltown was invalid. This information was only given to us when we rang.”
Siobhan has since used up all her savings on rent and according to Sally the council has given no real explanation regarding the delay or if Siobhan will be compensated for the rent already paid.
“Siobhan only receives €188 per week Disability Allowance and has had to pay full rent and subsistence since she moved in last September, which is €315 per month and €60 (€10) per night subsistence. She comes home every Thursday for one night, and is home every fourth weekend.” Sally has also been forced to stop Siobhan’s savings payment each week that goes into the Credit Union as she cannot afford it.
KCC in response said that the time taken for an applicant to be approved onto to the Housing List can vary, adding that rent will not be backdated as payment is only payable from the date that the applicant has been assessed as having a housing need’.