MLRC recently assisted a family with their application for medical priority with their local authority. Our client’s daughter has severe medical and care needs and whilst the local authority had granted them medical priority the local authority in question did not operate a point system in respect of housing applications including those awaiting accommodation on medical grounds.
MLRC made representations on behalf of our client noting the provisions of the Equal Status Acts and as to the requirement of a housing authority to make reasonable adjustments and provide special treatment to service users and applicants with disabilities. This essentially means that the local authority must prioritise allocations according to urgency of need. In our representations, MLRC noted that the Equality Tribunal and the courts have made clear what is required in allocating accommodation to clients with disabilities. They have held that the authority must objectively assess their needs and use a procedure which takes full account of individual needs and prioritises applicants. While the local authority had considered the needs of the applicant before awarding medical priority, no further measures were taken to award appropriate priority in light of the severity of our client’s daughter’s condition and the urgency of her needs. MLRC made further representations to the local authority on our client’s behalf and sent on a medical report from our client’s daughter’s treating physician. In light of our submission and the medical information submitted, the local authority reviewed the medical priority and awarded the family “vital need” for housing as per our client’s daughter’s housing needs.
The family are now awaiting an offer of suitable accommodation from the local authority.
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