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Thursday 27 April 2017

'I feel like a gun is being put to our head - we're being forced to pay this'

Nina Buckley a resident at Longboat Quay Apartments near Dublin's Grand Canal Dock. Photo: Mark Condren
Nina Buckley a resident at Longboat Quay Apartments near Dublin's Grand Canal Dock. Photo: Mark Condren
Longboat Quay Apartments near dublin's Grand Canal Dock. Photo: Mark Condren
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A mother of two is living in fear of being put out of her Longboat Quay home because she can't afford a bill of €18,000 for works to make it safe.

Nina Buckley is among 900 residents in the development who have been told their homes could be closed by the fire brigade in less than a week unless remedial work to secure it is started immediately.

Ms Buckley, a youth worker, has been living in her three-bed duplex since 2009 with her student son and teenage daughter.

"We all know what the homeless situation is like at the moment. If they evacuate the building, we are talking about 900 people being made homeless," she said. "Not to mention that we still have to pay our mortgages.

"Where are we going to go? I feel like a gun is being put to our head, that we are being forced to pay this."

Management fees in the complex can reach up to €2,400, which is what Ms Buckley pays.

However, she cannot afford to pay for the repairs and was not in a position to get into more debt to source the money, she said.

She is one of dozens of people who bought her €245,000 home through an affordable housing scheme with the Dublin Docklands Development Agency, meaning that she is unable to sell it without settling a substantial portion of the sale to the authority.

Neighbour Maria O'Callaghan purchased a two-bedroom apartment in 2011 for €225,000. It is her first home.

Now she is facing a €12,000 bill to "pay for someone else's mistake", she said.

Ms O'Callaghan said that she was first alerted to the problems with poor construction when she discovered damp in her apartment.

"It's everywhere - the ceiling, the window frames, the skirting boards. I'm living out of boxes because I can't put my clothes in my wardrobe," she said.

What should have been her dream first home in a prestigious area of the capital had turned into a nightmare and it would be "impossible" for her to pay for repairs, she said.

Ms O'Callaghan added: "I'm afraid to think of what the outcome is going to be."

Irish Independent

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