A Latvian couple are to be returned to the housing list by Dublin City Council following settlement of their High Court proceedings. They were removed from the social housing list after it was disclosed to the Council that Miroslav Kuznecova had bought an apartment in Latvia for her mother to live in.
Miroslav Kuznecova came to Ireland in 2005, and is now on jobseeker’s allowance having worked for a number of years as a cleaner. She applied for social housing in 2013 and was successful. Sergeys Kuznecova came to Ireland in 2011 and the couple married in 2016. In 2015, Miroslav Kuznecova paid €2000 for an apartment in Latvia for her mother to live in. She disclosed to Dublin City Council in 2016 that she had bought the property in Latvia.
The housing regulations state that where a person has alternative accommodation that they can occupy or sell to meet their housing need they are not eligible for social housing. The Council therefore concluded that because Miroslav Kuznecova owned an apartment in Latvia, she was no longer eligible for social housing.
The couple later informed the Council that the apartment had been transferred to Miroslav’s brother, with the agreement that their mother would continue to reside in the apartment. The Council responded that an applicant who transfers property to a family member that they could have used themselves to reside in cannot claim social housing.
The couple argued that in rejecting their claim for social housing the Council had not properly considered their application in line with the legislation and regulations. The couple claimed that irrelevant factors were taken into consideration in assessing their circumstance and that the refusal was based on an error of fact. In particular, it was argued that in determining whether the apartment was ‘alternative accommodation’ it failed to take into account that it was in Latvia and had a mere value of €2000.
Having been granted leave for judicial review earlier in the month, the case has now been resolved with an agreement by Dublin City Council to return them to the social housing list.
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