South Dublin mum of four fears eviction before Christmas

by Rebecca Ryan
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[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]A local TD says it’s “shameful” that a mother-of-four is facing eviction before Christmas.

Elaine, from Dun Laoghaire, is currently renting an apartment in Sandyford.

In April, she was asked to leave the property by September 7 as the landlord is selling the property, which she said the landlord is entitled to do.

However, she has been struggling to find alternative accommodation for her family, which includes a baby.

Elaine told RTE that despite looking every day for apartments and attending many jampacked viewings, she can’t get a home.

She said she has also found discrimination when house hunting saying: “They don’t even contact you back when you say you’re looking for a HAP (Housing Assistance Payment) apartment.”

She added that her children are asking her to put up the Christmas tree, but she won’t put it up because they are facing eviction “any day before Christmas”.

Elaine said she was told by Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council that she will ‘not be left on the streets’ if she is evicted, but that she must try to ‘self-accommodate’ for now.

Her case has been raised in the Dail by Dun Laoghaire TD Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP) who told Dublin Gazette the situation is “shameful”.

“It’s really shameful that we’ve got a mother and her four kids, including a little toddler, facing homelessness coming into Christmas.

“It’s unacceptable to put a family out. It’s not so much blaming the landlord; the law is the problem. There’s not proper legal rights, entitlements and security for tenants.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett said the council should be able to offer someone like Elaine somewhere to live but they can’t.

He said: “Not only do we have waiting lists for council housing, we’ve waiting lists for emergency housing. It’s shameful.”

People Before Profit headed up a major national demonstration in the city last weekend to put pressure on the government to act on the crisis that has been “looming for at least four years”.

“The state is letting children down in a serious way. “It’s absolutely heartbreaking. The government should hang their heads in shame that it’s come to this.”

Deputy Boyd Barrett is calling on emergency measures from the government.

He wants to see a freeze on evictions into homelessness “at least until this crisis abates,” stronger legal rights and entitlements for tenants, and emergency measures to get hold of empty units and apartments.

“I know empty apartments that are being sat on by vulture funds in Dun Laoghaire and Sandyford as we speak.

“The state should be using compulsory purchases powers to get hold of those units to provide for families like Elaine’s,” said Deputy Boyd Barrett.

Dublin Gazette contacted Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council for comment on Elaine’s case, who said they cannot comment on individual cases.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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