Saturday 10 December 2016

'I'm now living with three other men in a shared room' - man who has been looking for a home since 2004

Allison Bray and Tomás Heneghan

Published 25/07/2016 | 18:00

Andrew was homeless in 2004 and now 12 years later is living in a room with three people in cramped conditions.

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Andrew told Indepenedent.ie: “I’ve been having issues from getting housing since 2004. My applications have been lost in backlog and everything else or else I’ve just been removed off the system, so it’s like over 12 years later and I’m still waiting on the county council lists.”

He said he was homeless in 2004 and had stayed in hostels and homeless accommodation around Dublin city centre.

“Unfortunately now due to all the cutbacks and the slashes most of the hostels and places for people that are less fortunate and in need of emergency housing, their needs are not being met anymore,” he explained.

Andrew is now living with three other men in a shared room and said he is paying between €300 and €400 per month for the room.

“It’s very cramped conditions and I’m paying nearly €350, €400 a month. I think the price range in every apartment around the city should [at] least be capped or maybe a law put in or legislation that landlords are not taking people for granted and trying to get the best amount of money that they can get for such a small, dingy property.

“To alleviate some of the problems, I think maybe there should be more regeneration projects set up in the likes of disadvantaged areas.

“I’ve seen countless boarded up houses, apartments and everything else that could go to the more less fortunate and the more needy in society but unfortunately you’re starting to see an epidemic and more of a trend of people remaining stuck on the streets and sleeping rough every day.”

Meanwhile, Dublin’s mayor is now calling for an end to emergency accommodation for the homeless.

Brendan Carr, a Labour councillor from Cabra/Finglas joined homeless protesters on Monday afternoon in urging NAMA to give five homeless families facing imminent eviction from a Dublin hotel a reprieve.

He joined a small group of demonstrators calling for the State’s so-called “bad bank” to hold off on evicting them from Lynam’s Hotel on O’Connell Street until they can be properly housed.

“We do believe that NAMA was established  to serve the people of Ireland and we do believe that an agreement should be reached for these families to stay in place until more sustainable long-term accommodation can be afforded to them,” he told Independent.ie.

He was among members of the Irish Housing Network and local councillors who held a demonstration outside the hotel this afternoon, urging NAMA to intervene to prevent the families from being forced to leave the hotel after it went into receivership.

They were originally told they would have to leave by last Saturday but were given a week’s reprieve.

However, a NAMA spokesman said the agency no longer has a role in the dispute after it appointed Aiden Murphy of Crowe Horwath International accountants as a receiver last autumn.

“NAMA isn’t permitted to interfere. It’s a matter for the receiver,” he said.

Mr Murphy was not readily available for comment this afternoon.

However, Mr Carr said the plight of the people living in such emergency accommodation cries out for immediate action.

“When you have homeless people in private accommodation and once a private company steps in and starts shutting things down, the council now has to respond to that,” he said.

“But a big issue here is that we do away with emergency accommodation completely,” he said.

“Going from pillar to post in emergency accommodation is no way to raise any kid and for that reason what we’re trying to do here is see if the families can be accommodated as best they can here until a long-term solution to the problem can be found,” he said.

“The emergency accommodation is where the problem lies. This is about the third time this has happened in recent times and families are being moved out of emergency accommodation.”

“Our main goal at this stage is to get long-term sustainable accommodation and NAMA should be able to work with the State and the local authorities to ensure that this sort of a scenario doesn’t arise,” he said.

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