A young, Dublin based gay couple have told RTE 2fm of their disappointment at experiencing discrimination from landlords who have blatantly refused to rent them property due to their sexual orientation.
Ian works as a journalist at his local newspaper and his boyfriend is a recent accounting graduate, who is unemployed at present. The couple have been desperately seeking accommodation for the last two months in an attempt to become more independent and leave their current residence at Ian’s family home. Ian said that his family have no problem with his boyfriend or him being gay, but that they feel he should have his own space.
24-year-old, Ian, told radio presenter Ryan Tubridy that their futile search for a home has been “hell on earth” as they have been refused “countless times” because they are gay.
He said: “We’ve been persistently looking, but we’ve been turned down countless times by landlords who say they don’t want to let gay couples into their home.
“The first time it was a Polish man. He seemed really nice, he was interested in getting to know who we are… On my way up he said, ‘Are you and your girlfriend going to be here anytime soon,’ I said I’m with my boyfriend.’… “There was a pause, until he said, ‘You’re gay guys. Oh well, that changes everything. I won’t have gay people living in my house.'”
Ian noted that on another occasion: “A Moldavian landlord said; ‘You’re gay are you? I’m not sure if we can allow you. There’s a child in the house and I’m not sure what the parents would think about it. We’d have to get all occupants of the house together and have a vote about whether you can stay.’
The 24 year old also explained to the radio presenter that he has received plenty of homophobic emails to show as evidence of landlords refusing to provide them accommodation because of their sexuality. “I’ve got it in writing several times. Yesterday, there was a man who emailed me back saying, ‘We don’t let gay people in here, didn’t you read the ad? We have a child.”
The young man said he spends half of his day in work scanning through property websites and is hopeful he can find somewhere suitable “I’m optimistic and confident we’ll get through it but it’s disheartening.”
The couple have been in touch with housing charity Threshold but they said there was not much point in making a fuss. “A woman at Threshold said that it was a Class A act of discrimination … [and] … she would recommend I sign an official complaint by filling out a form, but I put that on the back bench because my main priority is to find a place.”
Ian said he would need to be sending a few too many complaints at this rate.
Their search for a new home continues.