Wednesday 22 November 2017

Angry Priory Hall residents get no say in rehousing

Mark Hilliard and Fiona Ellis

RESIDENTS of the controversial Priory Hall development were incensed yesterday at having no choice in the temporary NAMA properties offered to them.

A total of 42 homes were made available on a short-term basis to apartment owners, with 37 from NAMA and five voluntary housing properties.

Tenants have vacated the 187-unit Priory Hall complex in Donaghmede, north Dublin, until fire safety works are completed at the end of the month.

The move to temporary housing will mean they can return to some level of normality, having been stuck in hotels for the last two weeks.

However, many of those queuing outside a housing office in the nearby Clongriffin complex yesterday, where properties were dealt out, expressed anger at their treatment.

Those offered homes -- to be paid for by Dublin City Council -- complained about not being given any choice.

There was also confusion over whether or not paperwork should be signed before seeing the homes.

"We were offered a property in Belmayne. I basically didn't want to sign any documents until I saw it," said Darren Kelly, who has been in a hotel with his wife Melissa and children Evan (3) and Sophia (three months).

One apartment owner vowed to contact his solicitor over the manner in which the properties were meted out.

"I live in one of the largest apartments up there (in Priory Hall) and I am being given no choice as to where I go," he said, declining to give his name.

Sini Rapheal, who has been living in the development for the last four years with husband Babu Varghese and their two children, said they were willing to go anywhere to escape the cramped hotel.

"I got a four-bed house, it's not furnished. I will view it tomorrow," she said.

Unsuitable

"I had to sign a lease; it's really hard to make a decision without seeing the place (but) I have to get out of (the hotel). It's the only reason I signed the lease."

Dublin City Council said nobody had to sign leases before seeing the properties on offer.

A spokesman said that an appointment system for residents to be issued temporary housing was unsuitable but that the office in Clongriffin would stay open all day and there was no need for people to queue.

Corrective works at Priory Hall are due to be completed by the end of the month, in line with High Court instructions.

The ongoing action against developers Larry O'Mahony and former hunger striker Tom McFeely is due before the High Court on Friday for an update on progress.

Yesterday, there was also tension amongst those renting in Priory Hall -- who were not issued with properties.

Dublin City Council said the 57 families on rent subsidy would be issued with a suitable deposit to secure private rented accommodation in place of hotels.

Irish Independent

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