Friday 30 September 2016

'Mission Impossible of a single mum' - One Irish woman's struggle to find a place to live

Edith B. from Dublin

Published 04/05/2015 | 13:42

Single mother Edith on how she is struggling to find a place to live
Single mother Edith on how she is struggling to find a place to live

Why are landlords 'afraid' to have a tenant on Rent Allowance? I ask myself that question everyday while looking for a new place to live for me and my little boy.

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I am horrified by my current housing situation, not knowing what is going to happen next .

We went from looking at empty, unfinished apartments to struggling, thinking - where will we live in a month?

To be honest, the last two years of my life have been really hard and, as a result, I am on Social Welfare.

Basically my previous life fell apart.

I had to pick up the pieces and glue them together.

My life just changed 180 degrees- but I am slowly going forward and have so many plans.

I am finally starting to come back to my usual self.

There is only one 'problem' now - we need to move out. 

I have lived at my current address for nearly three years. But my landlord, a really lovely person is selling it, and so I have a month to move out.

Now every time I close my eyes I see websites that I go through all day, everyday. I can't sleep, I can't eat - I am stressed, very stressed.

The rental market is tough these days and people are nearly fighting over available apartments and, with so much interest, landlords 'can afford' to be picky. 

Each day I make dozens of calls and emails and.... nothing.  

Most landlords will do an interview with you over the phone, but as soon as I say I am on Rent Allowance - I hear 'sorry not accepted'. 

Now, I'm even trying to say a few words about me and my family before I slip in the fact that I'm on Rent Allowance but so far, no luck. 

I've got the response from one landlord that he had a 'certain opinion' about people on social welfare. My hands just dropped in disbelief.  

When someone hears the word 'social', do they think it means 'trouble'? Why is that?

I don't know but I know who I am. I am a single mum from Dublin with one small adorable child, that I love to bits.

Like every mum, I always put my child first - his happiness and well being is the most important thing to me.

I consider myself a good tenant, I don't smoke or drink, every bill is always paid on time, no landlord has ever complained about me, or us.

I am qualified but still pursuing better education. 

With this market at present I don't think I will find anyone who will agree to take us on Rent Allowance, but I am still hoping to be honest.

Hope dies last, they say. But what if...?

What if I wont be able to find us a new place to live just because I am on Rent Allowance?

It is very sad that no-one believes that there can be genuine people out there who just so happen to be a bad  situation and need a little bit of a helping hand to stand on their feet.

This is my message - PLEASE landlords, meet and talk to the person before you are going to say 'no' to Rent Allowance.

Regards,

Edith B. from Dublin

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