Saturday 24 March 2018

Charity negotiates purchase of apartments as tenants left facing threat of eviction

(Stock photo)
(Stock photo)

David Raleigh

A number of tenants who were ordered to vacate their homes by the summer as the properties were put up for sale, have said they have been "assured" they will be able to remain in their homes under a new proposed agreement with the Simon Community of Ireland homeless charity.

However, five of the eight tenants remain under threat of eviction, according to the tenants representative Alan McCarthy.

It follows revelations on RTE's Today with Sean O'Rourke, that the mid-west branch of the Simon Community were negotiating the purchase of six two-bed apartments from Munster Pensioneers Trustees Ltd.

In a statement sent to the RTE radio programme, the charity said it had pursued purchasing the apartments at Fisherman's Quay, Grove Island, Corbally, "on the understanding that they were being bought as vacant properties".

After learning of the eviction orders, Simon stated it was "assessing" its position.

Speaking tonight, Mr McCarthy, who was also one of the eight tenants served with an eviction order, said Simon gave him assurances that he along with two other tenants would not have to leave their homes.

Mr McCarthy, who lives with his 19-year old son Daniel, described it as "a bittersweet moment".

"Three of us have received assurances from Simon that we can remain here as tenants of the Simon Community, for life. They have said they will also take care of any refurbishment works if it's necessary," Mr McCarthy added.

"They can help me and two other tenants, as we are already on the housing waiting list, but they said it might not be possible to help the others as they do not qualify."

Mr McCarthy said he had yet to "iron out" the proposed new tenancy agreement.

He said he would continue to fight for the remaining five tenants.

"It's a great result for me and the others but it's not resolved for everyone. I will absolutely continue to fight for them."

Limerick Solidarity councillor Cian Prendiville, who earlier described the situation as "bizarre", called for all of the eviction orders to be rescinded.

"There is still a question mark, and the threat of eviction, for the other tenants who don't qualify for assistance under the housing waiting list," he added.

The Minister for Housing, Simon Coveney, who met with tenants last Monday is looking into their case.

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