Families told to leave emergency accommodation within a week

Homeless families given a week’s notice to leave hotel in Mountjoy Street, Dublin

 Aisling Kenny, with her  children Molly-Rose (centre) and Noah, and, from left, Vivienne Morgan, Gemma Bradley and Rachel McGuinness, who have to leave  54/55 Mountjoy Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Aisling Kenny, with her children Molly-Rose (centre) and Noah, and, from left, Vivienne Morgan, Gemma Bradley and Rachel McGuinness, who have to leave 54/55 Mountjoy Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

 

Twelve households, including seven families with children, have been told to leave their emergency accommodation in Dublin city centre by Friday.

The families, some of who have been living at the hotel in Dublin’s Mountjoy Street for up to a year, were told by Dublin City Council last Thursday they would have to be out by February 26th.

The council could not discuss the “commercial aspects” of the contract with the private landlord or the reasons for it being ended, a spokeswoman said.

“Dublin City Council is currently in the process of putting alternative arrangements in place for all households concerned and will ensure that there is emergency accommodation provided for them,” she said.

Traumatised

The Irish Times

Several had moved emergency accommodation a number of times and say they were assured when placed in the hotel that they would stay until permanently housed.

One mother, Aisling Kenny, has been in the hotel with her partner and three children, a daughter (8) and two sons aged 5 and 2, for nine months. They lost their private rented home in Coolock because the landlord was selling up.

“We looked and looked for other places but the average rent was €1,600 for a three-bed,” she says. The maximum a family with three children, in receipt of rent supplement, may pay in rent in Dublin is €1,000.

Although they found it “hard to adjust” in the hotel she says, “it’s one of the better ones. The kids have their own room and we can cook. Their school is one bus-ride away, though they have to leave early with their dad to be in on time.”

They pay €31 per week in rent, plus electricity costs, to the council to stay there.

Alternative

“The kids have been through so much in the last nine months we can’t put them through more. They are stressed. The boys, they know something is going on but are okay. But my daughter is an emotional wreck. She’s having nightmares about having no home. At the weekend she asked would she still be able to do her Holy Communion if we have to move again.”

Carol McNulty and her daughter (4) had been living with her parents in Donnycarney but had to move “for personal reasons”.

A carer on a zero-hour contract, she receives maintenance from her daughter’s father, but says she will “never” be able to afford a mortgage or to rent in the private sector.

She had been in one hotel for two weeks before being moved to Mountjoy Street in September. She pays €18 rent, plus €5 for electricity, per week. She has been offered alternative accommodation in a hotel but is reluctant to move a third time. “I’m not looking for handouts. I want to work, to keep my daughter safe. This could happen to anyone. I feel degraded, humiliated. I’m heartbroken.”