Tuesday 24 April 2018

‘All I want is to have breakfast in my pyjamas and a safe place for my kids to play’- Homeless mother of two on hotel-living

Stock image Photo: Getty
Stock image Photo: Getty
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A homeless mother said that all she wants for her and her two young daughters is to have a home where they can stay in their pyjamas to eat their breakfast and to play safely outside.

Single mum Kim (28) and her two young daughters (6, 7) became homeless after their landlord decided to sell the house they had been living in for the past five years.

"My landlord sold my house and I couldn’t find anywhere else to live. I was there for five years and the landlord just decided to sell the house so I had to go homeless with my two children because I couldn’t find anything else.

"It's really hard, I have no choice but to be where I am. The only option I have is for them to give me a house,” Kim told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

"I can go into private rented accommodation but the same thing can happen again. If the landlord wants to sell the house he can and I'll be homeless again. I need somewhere stable for my kids. I can't be going through this again in two year’s time.”

Kim is sharing a hotel room with her two young daughters with no cooking, washing or playing facilities.

"It’s really hard living in a hotel. We all go to bed together but I don't sleep. On these bright nights you can't go home and sit in a hotel room. I'm very stressed about it.

“I'm never happy anymore, I'm constantly thinking about what to do and where to go. Outside we've the M50 roundabout, that's it.

"They're in summer camp today from 10 to 2 and then I collect them and we go in the park. We eat in the hotel sometimes and eat out in places like Supermacs.

“We're constantly living on noodles and mugshots [convenience soups]. My little girl is putting on weight from it too; it's not good constantly eating takeaway and fast foods, nothing healthy or vegetables.”

Kim said that getting a home would be like “winning the lottery”.

“I’d be able to get up in the morning and not have to rush out and find somewhere to take the kids. They can just go and play and you can open the door and they're out running around. You could sit down and chill out in a pair of pyjamas. Normal things, you can't have your breakfast before you get dressed in the hotel.

“There's no normality or routine, it's just what are you going to do next basically.”

The Government's new Housing Action Plan is to be brought to Cabinet this morning and will be published later this evening.

An increase in the number of rapid build homes, a first-time buyers' scheme and a scheme to help those in emergency accommodation access crèches, pre-school services and free public transport will be included in the plan.

Maria Bailey Chair of the newly formed Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government also spoke to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland about the new housing plan.

“My girls are of similar ages and I can’t imagine what she’s going through. This action plan for housing is very similar to the action plan for jobs and when that was initiated people did say it won’t work and now look where we are with unemployment figures. I’m very hopeful that this action plan for housing will put a roof over people’s heads because that is what the intention is here.”

"This is not going to be a magic wand solution; you cannot build a house overnight. But what we can do is put rapid housing in place. What we can do is purchase housing and incentivise people to rent the unit above their shop and to put the parameters in place to make it easier to get through the planning process to develop housing and put a roof over people's heads. And that is what I hope this plan will do.”

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