Saturday 16 November 2019

'This country has a lot to answer for' - Shock as stories behind the housing crisis revealed

Colin, who told his story on Ireland's Property Crisis (Image via RTE)
Colin, who told his story on Ireland's Property Crisis (Image via RTE)
The Sadlier family who appeared on Ireland's Property Crisis - image RTE
Housing Minister Simon Coveney. Photo: Tom Burke

A stark look at Ireland's property market, aired on RTÉ tonight, has hit home with viewers across the country.

The first installment of 'Ireland's Property Crisis' offered snapshot of those at the front-line of the housing crisis, including people who are struggling to clear arrears and those who are currently without a home.

IT worker and Trinity College graduate Colin McSweeney (45) told his story of becoming homeless.

He revealed how he works in a library but each day he also has to find a bed for the night.

He is forced, from night to night, to secure accommodation in different hostels.

He was working in the IT sector in a firm based in Tallaght but when the company folded he found himself unable to pay his rent.

He spoke about waiting for the call all day to let him know if he will have a bed for the night.

Sometimes he was forced to spend the night in Dublin's only 24-hour Starbucks in the city centre.

Colin later appeared on Claire Byrne Live and Housing Minister Simon Coveney offered to speak with him off-air about his situation.

People watching were outraged at Colin's story and praised his composure and dignity as he battled homelessness.

The show also looked at a single mum of two, Selena, who is trying to find a home before being forced to vacate her current home on Easter Monday.

Meanwhile, the Sadlier family are trapped renting a house and payaing a mortgage on an apartment they bought ten years ago which is no longer suitable for their family.

Widow Anna, whose home was at risk after her debt was sold onto a vulture fund, was told following the show that she would be able to stay in her home.

People were also incensed by insights into the rental market with people forced to compete with dozens of people at viewings and a look at an apartment in an upcoming development, complete with a fold out bed in the living area.

People watching at home were quick to point out similarities to the previous property bubble here, questioning if Ireland had learned anything.

Housing Minsiter Simon Coveney this week denied that we are careering toward a repeat of the Celtic Tiger when the boom and bust of the housing market forced the country into a deep downturn.

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