Tuesday 24 October 2017

Homeless family of 12 may spend summer in hotel

Diarmuid Purcell with three of his children; Lee, Kayleight and Ruby at Bewley's Hotel, Newland's Cross
Diarmuid Purcell with three of his children; Lee, Kayleight and Ruby at Bewley's Hotel, Newland's Cross
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A FAMILY of 12 being housed in a busy Dublin hotel at a cost of up to €6,000 per month believe they will stay there for the entire summer.

The Purcells were moved into Bewleys Hotel in Newlands Cross last month after being forced to leave their home because they couldn’t afford to the €1,250 rent.

The family became the responsibility of Dublin City Council, which is footing the bill for the couple and their 10 children.

Now the Purcells say they may be forced to remain in the hotel for the entire summer because the council has yet to provide them with an alternative home.

Dad Diarmuid Purcell says his family is willing to live “anywhere” and is “deeply saddened” at being housed in a hotel at a cost to the taxpayer.

“I have found boarded-up homes in places such as Ballymun, where we would love to live as it is close to our children's schools. But the council just won’t respond,” he said.

“Their officials keep extending our stay at the hotel and, to be honest, it looks like we are here for the long haul.

“We don’t want to be here. We don’t want the taxpayer paying all the hotel costs. All we are asking for is a roof over our heads. We’ll live anywhere; we are not looking for luxury. We’re just looking for a home.”

The Purcells were evicted last month from their home in Whitehall because they couldn’t afford the €1,250 monthly rent.

The Department of Social Protection refused to breach the maximum €950 rent supplement cap to help them stay in the property.

After leaving their rented home, they were told that the Naas Road hotel was the “only option available”.

The couple are unemployed and are left with €750 every month to pay for bills after the rent is paid.

They have lived for the past four and a half years in Roscommon as part of a rural relocation scheme.

However, when their allowance under the relocation scheme fell behind the cost of their rental accommodation, they returned to the capital in the hope of finding a suitable house there.

By leaving this scheme, they made themselves homeless.

Both Dublin City Council and the Department of Social Protection have confirmed that they are aware of the family's circumstances.

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