Tuesday 25 June 2019

'I will not move out to make myself homeless' - salesman struggling to relocate calls for public housing options

Peter Tighe pictured at his home in Dublin 8. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Peter Tighe pictured at his home in Dublin 8. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Laura Lynott

Laura Lynott

PETER Tighe is single and in his middle years and though he works in the sales profession, he’s on the edge of homelessness, after receiving notice to leave his rented home.

Mr Tighe, in his 50s, lives in Dublin 8, in a one bed cottage, where’s he’s been a tenant since 2006.

Mr Tighe claims his landlady, whom he has no negative words for, has asked him to leave several times over the years.

And while he “wants to go,” he simply has nowhere to move to and refuses “to make myself homeless.”

As he watches rents rise across the city, the salesman realises he just cannot afford to rent anywhere else.

Though he’s tried to find a new rental home, the vast shortage means he’s not been successful in finding anywhere he could afford.

Peter Tighe pictured at his home in Dublin 8. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Peter Tighe pictured at his home in Dublin 8. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

“I’d gladly move to another place, if there was another place to go to,” he said. “I have no desire to stay where I am if the landlady wants me to go but I’ve not been given a choice.

“I will not move out to make myself homeless. I have nothing against my landlady but I have nowhere to go.

“I knew a guy across the road, who got a notice of termination from his landlord. He was a young married man with a new baby. He moved out. And since he went his home has been turned into an Airbnb.

“Initially it was a big shock when I got my first notice. The pressure initially was intense. I went to the Residential Tenancies Board, which is like a semi quasi court.

“You don’t know what’s happening, most people are lost when they go in there. I did everything I could to stay in the house, as I knew if I left, there was nowhere else and I’d be homeless.

“But here I am again, with another letter. I feel like Dublin is now an apartheid style system of housing.

“Politicians talk about solving the housing crisis but if they aren’t coming up with a model to create affordable housing for all, how are they even close to solving this?

“We need public housing and long-term security of tenure, rents linked to income. Without this, we know, this Government is not interested in solving this housing crisis.

“A lot of investors are buying up properties and some have left these properties for long periods. 

“The Government has failed to tax those hoarding properties. They have failed to bring in proper fines, high fines, for landlords utilising loopholes or discriminating against tenants.

“They have failed to protect renters. The Government by not taking action, is encouraging property speculation and they’ve abandoned tenants by doing so.

“People are terrified of getting that letter in their door, from their landlord, telling them it’s time to go.

“Close to three quarters of a million people are renting in Ireland and a lot of people are hanging on. If you look at the average wage, it doesn’t match inflated rental prices. And people on lower incomes are being forced out of Dublin.

“It’s a type of social cleansing. This Government are the government for landlords. In my life, I’ve never seen anything this bad. It’s ruthless out there.

“Trying to find an affordable rental home is impossible, you face a selection process from agents and still you can’t afford the rent. The only option when the Government won’t help renters, is for us to stand up, to fight back.

“This has placed me under huge stress, as it has so many renters. I want to come home to feel secure. I don’t even have that anymore. I can’t go with only emergency accommodation my option.

“I’m not doing that to myself. I advise others try to avoid that too. We have to stand together now.”

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