‘There is no point having a permanent position if you don’t have a home’

Martina Di Renzo has been looking for accommodation for three months in Cork

Martina Di Renzo has been looking for accommodation for three months and  will have to move into a B&B if she doesn’t find somewhere to rent this week.

Martina Di Renzo has been looking for accommodation for three months and will have to move into a B&B if she doesn’t find somewhere to rent this week.

 

If I don’t get anything, by next Monday I am going to be in a B&B. My job is formally starting on Monday. Apple told me I had a couple of months to get settled. The contract is signed. It is not a good way to start a job without a fixed address.

My biggest concern was getting a permanent contract. It didn’t go through my mind at all that the biggest challenge would be accommodation. I didn’t think I wouldn’t get a place.

I lived most of my life in Ireland. During the recession, I started struggling with work so I decided to go to Italy for a few years but it didn’t work out. I came back here, I got a permanent job with Apple but it has been three months now. I had a room in a house with a nice landlady but it was only temporary. I can’t find anything. I went to see lots of places.

I am going to talk to the HR department in Apple and see what they can do, what is possible, if they have some connections as a company. The negative outcome is that I would have to leave the position. There is no point having a permanent position if you don’t have a home.

I have had to use foreign bank accounts here. I have an account here but Bank of Ireland won’t reactivate it unless I have proof of address.

Yesterday I found myself begging an agent who was sympathetic. I was haggling to give more of a deposit upfront to reassure the landlord that I can afford it. I am a woman in my fifties, I am not going to have parties, I don’t have young children, my children are grown up and live elsewhere.

I’ve looked at every kind of property. There is a typology of renting, if you want a one bed apartment in the city centre, there is no hope, there is a queue of young males working in call centres. There is no competition. I’m at a fork in the road.

The thing that has also surprised me is the price. Cork has the same prices as Milan. I can understand Dublin, although it is too high. I don’t know how Cork can charge these rents. Haggling is a common practice, there are stories of people haggling with landlords, haggling under the table. It is a very unregulated and cowboy market.