Dozens of families facing eviction from their homes in Tyrrelstown west Dublin will meet public representatives tonight to see if steps can be taken to allow them to remain.
Some 208 houses in Cruise Park, Tyrrelstown are likely to be sold after a so-called vulture firm acquired the development loan for the estate.
All of the houses are being rented out. So far over 60 families have been served with notices to quit, with times varying from between one month and 112 days depending on how long they have been there.
Martin Malinovsky, his wife Elena and their children Thomas (8), Lillian (6) and Hannah (4) who have been in their home for seven years, have until mid-August to leave. A second family – a couple with a five-year-old – who share the four-bedroom house with them, must also leave. Their shared rent is €1,500 a month.
“We have looked for other houses in this area but they are €1,700. That is impossible for us,” says Martin. “It is a very bad situation. We don’t know what we are going to do.”
He checked with Citizen’s Advice as to whether the notice was legal. And it was.
“There is no protection here for tenants. The Government said there would be rent controls, but the rents are impossible. They are going to put all these families out on the street. How can the Government be happy about this?” asks Martin.
Originally from Slovakia, he is a truck-driver, while Elena works in the home.
Their two eldest children go to the local St Luke’s national school, with Hannah due to start in September.
“It is a very nice school. The teachers are very nice,” says Elena. “Thomas is very sad to leave this house. His best friend lives across the road.
“We have been here almost eight years. The children were born in this house. This is their home. I am so stressed about this. I know this is not our house. But it is our home.”
Among their neighbours is Michael Mitczak who has lived in the estate with his girlfriend for a year. A butcher with Kepak in Blanchardstown, he works "very hard, very long hours" in "heavy work".
Having been given notice to quit, he says they may now move to Germany.
"We work very hard, pay taxes, pay water charges, pay rent and we count everything – food, bills. We don't have money to pay more rent. Ireland is beautiful but the house prices are like St Tropez. It's crazy."
Another mother, of three children, did not want to be named. Her family has been in the estate for nine years and they have until November to leave.
A care assistant, she and her husband – a taxi-driver – pay €1,350 for a three-bedroom house. She has looked at two-bedroom apartments saying the average rent is €1,400 a month. “Three-bedroom houses are like hot cakes. They are impossible to get. This a very terrible crisis. For now we will just have to keep looking, and hoping.”