Monday 21 May 2018

'I remember breaking down roaring crying... asking were we going to end up in a hostel' - family forced out of home after landlord sold house

Melissa Keogh, Eddie O'Reilly with their children
Melissa Keogh, Eddie O'Reilly with their children Newsdesk Newsdesk

One family’s heartbreak – and eventual joy – is shown in a documentary focusing on the housing crisis.

A new RTÉ documentary, ‘Find Me a Home’, highlights the desperate search by families in the capital to put a roof over their heads as they are faced with crippling rents which are now 60pc higher than in 2011.

Among them are Melissa Keogh and Eddie O’Reilly and their four young children, who were faced with having to find a new home after their previous house was sold off by their landlord.

“I was 35 weeks’ pregnant. I remember breaking down roaring crying to my partner asking were we going to end up in a hostel?,” said Ms Keogh.

They were forced to move to a friend’s two-bedroom apartment in Stepaside – 20km away from their son’s school.

“Our little lad has to be brought over to school all the way from Stepaside. All his friends and everything is out there”, she said.

However, unlike countless others, for this family there was at least a happy ending.

They were among dozens of people who viewed a three-bedroom terraced house in Ballyfermot. The couple were ultimately successful in getting the lease.

West Dublin property consultant Jim Payne told how a long queue of people formed as soon as the house went on the rental market.

He said he had never seen anything like the housing shortage in the city’s suburbs.

“Rents are 10 or 20pc higher than the boom of 2005/2006,” he said.

“There is desperation. We are coming across people who are six or eight months looking for a property.

“In my 20 years in the business I’ve never seen it like this before.”

‘Find Me A Home’ will be shown on RTÉ One tonight at 8.30pm.

Irish Independent

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