November 28
2021
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Dolores Utrilla
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27th October 2021
Consumer, Health & Environment Human Rights Justice & Litigation

Refusal to grant house subsidies on grounds of age may be compatible with prohibition of discrimination, ECtHR rules

In Šaltinytė v. Lithuania (application no. 32934/19), the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that the refusal by the Lithuanian authorities to grant a house subsidy to the applicant, on the grounds of her age, did not breach the prohibition of discrimination taken in conjunction with the protection of property (Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 1 of Protocol No.1 to the Convention).

The case concerns a single mother aged 37 who applied for a subsidy available to ‘young families’ with a low income to buy a first home. The courts refused her request because the relevant domestic law defined ‘young families’ as those in which the parents were no older than 35.

The ECtHR noted that

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