Friday 20 October 2017

Family evicted despite plea for mercy over unpaid rent

Ann Moore is led away from her home by gardai
Ann Moore is led away from her home by gardai
Anne Moore had spent several hours up a ladder in protest at the family's eviction
A crowd remained outside the home as it was boarded up by the council
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A FAMILY pleaded with housing bosses to show mercy yesterday after bailiffs arrived at their door to evict them from their home.

Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council stressed local authority tenants were only evicted as a "very last resort" after it was accused of taking a tougher stance than the banks on families in arrears.

The Moore family, who have been living in the council home in Gleanntan, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin, for the past 16 years, said they will have to call on friends and families for somewhere to sleep following the eviction.

Neighbours have begun signing a petition and plan to stage a protest against their eviction, after the council was granted a possession order in the District Court.

Yesterday, after the bailiffs arrived at 7am, Ann Moore climbed a ladder leaning against the house to stop the eviction taking place.

The mother of three, who suffers from asthma, stayed on the ladder for six hours before she came down in a distressed state and was taken to hospital for oxygen.

The house was then boarded up following the stand-off.

"We have nowhere to go at all," her husband Christopher said.

"I'm on social welfare and Ann is working part-time, we wouldn't have money to rent anywhere."

The rest of the family, including their daughter and two sons aged from 16 to 24 years, were asleep when the eviction began.

Payments

A spokeswoman from the council's housing department, which does not comment on individual cases, said: "The council only resorts to eviction proceedings as a very last resort and when all possible alternatives have been exhausted."

Councillor Maria Bailey said her sympathies were with the family but "nobody is evicted lightly".

She said in each case where a person runs up arrears they are given numerous opportunities to pay and the councils seeks to come to some sort of arrangement with them.

More than 4,000 people are on the council's housing waiting list.

The family, which rented the home for €100 a week, had run-up arrears of €12,500 up to last September.

They have since reduced this by paying an extra €50, and planned to pay a lump sum of €500 twice yearly.

"It built up over the years," Mr Moore said, adding the council claimed they had notified them of the eviction but they were unaware of it. Mr Moore said he believed the matter had been settled when they began paying the extra monies.

Councillor Richard Boyd-Barrett said it was "utterly unreasonable and inhumane behaviour".

He claimed: "The banks would be more reasonable than the council are being."

Mr Boyd-Barrett said the family had been remiss in allowing the arrears to climb but there had been family difficulties for a period.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News