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Charity: single mothers facing discrimination from landlords

Safe haven: the Transformational Living Centre housing facility, which provides accommodation for single-parent families (File photograph)

Landlords have been accused of discriminating against single mothers when renting out their properties.

According to the Transformational Living Centre ― which provides temporary accommodation for families ― housing difficulties are causing “continual disruptions” for single mothers, resulting in “trauma and unwelcome behaviours”.

The TLC and another women’s rights charity, the Women’s Resource Centre, spoke out after it was revealed that residents were facing discrimination when looking for places to live, according to the results of a Human Rights Commission survey.

A TLC spokesperson urged landlords not to make assumptions against single-parent families.

The spokesperson said: “Most of our guests have been discriminated against, primarily because the landlords do not want to rent to single moms with children. It is a very difficult situation.

“Even if the moms are employed, landlords will not give them a chance. The continuous disruption in their family lives can lead to life-changing trauma, which can result in unwelcome behaviours.

“We encourage landlords to not make assumptions and to vet tenants carefully, especially single moms who need all of us to give them a chance and even a ‘hand up’.

“Since the Transformational Living Centre opened its doors just over a year ago, we have seen some incredible growth in the lives of our moms.

“The wraparound support services provided by way of life skills, job skills and programmes and services to address their trauma as a family, has set them up to lead more sustainable lives.

“They are also being taught how to maintain a relationship with landlords and even how to maintain their homes.

“We encourage every landlord in Bermuda who is applicable, to think twice before making the broad decision not to rent to a tenant because they have children. Your decision could make the tremendous difference in the lives of a family between surviving or thriving.”

Juanae Crockwell, the executive director of the Women’s Resource Centre, added that the results of the HRC survey were sad but not surprising.

Ms Crockwell said: “Secure and affordable housing is one of the top challenges our clients face, due to the pricing of the rental market and the current economic situation many are impacted by.

“We hear heart-wrenching stories of women being discriminated against on the basis of economic position, marital or relationship status, and number of dependents when trying to secure a home for their family.”

Ms Crockwell said that the TLC was set up in a bid to tackle the crisis.

“However, we do not have the capacity to meet the demand in our community,” she said.

“While we understand that landlords have a right to choose who will occupy their property, we also want to emphasise that adequate housing is a basic human right under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

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Published May 23, 2023 at 7:52 am (Updated May 23, 2023 at 7:38 am)

Charity: single mothers facing discrimination from landlords

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