Saturday 22 November 2014

Landlords reject elderly pair forced out of home

Brian Byrne

Published 27/08/2014 | 00:00

Martin and Violet Coyne at their home in Luttrel Park Drive in Blanchardstown, which they have been asked to leave due to the house being repossessed from their landlord. Picture: Arthur Carron
Martin and Violet Coyne at their home in Luttrel Park Drive in Blanchardstown, which they have been asked to leave due to the house being repossessed from their landlord. Picture: Arthur Carron

AN ELDERLY couple who are about to be forced out of their home have been rejected by 15 landlords who have refused to accept rent allowance.

Martin (73) and Violet (61) Coyne are also facing imprisonment after defying a judge’s order to vacate the property in Carpenterstown in Co Dublin, which they have been renting for up to 15 years.

Mortgage provider ACC Bank appointed receivers KPMG to sell the property after its landlord’s company went into receivership in 2012.

The couple are due to appear in the Dublin Circuit Civil Court at 10am today, but Mr Coyne said they have yet to be granted free legal aid from the State.

He said going to prison would “kill” him and that every landlord he has approached has refused to accept rent allowance, which the couple have relied heavily upon.

“The thoughts of going to prison, that would kill me. I wouldn’t last a day. I couldn’t do that. I’m out for a walk at the moment in a park. Imagine if I couldn’t do that?

“Everywhere we have tried is beyond our reach. The rent in this area in particular has doubled in the last year or so, plus the fact that every single one of them we have tried, none of them will take rent allowance. I wouldn’t be able to manage without it.”

He said Fingal County Council have offered the couple a hotel or hostel, but said he “couldn’t take that”.

“I’m too old. Imagine putting us in a hotel.”

Mr Coyne added that he is too far down on the social housing waiting list to be eligible for a permanent home.

“I’m on the housing waiting list for the last four years, but they told me that they might have something for me in three to four years’ time. Apparently you’d need to be on it for the guts of eight years before you’d get to the top. I’m somewhere in the 900s on the list.”

Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger said a protest will be held outside the court this morning in support of the couple.

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