'We’re ecstatic, we just can’t believe it' - Irish soldier and young family facing homelessness offered 'house for life'
An Irish soldier who was left homeless with his wife and young children has been offered a "house for life" after the family made a heartbreaking appeal earlier this month.
The family from Co Kildare, who wish to remain anonymous, includes four children aged 11 and under, one of whom has a rare genetic disorder which results in a range of physical problems.
The soldier has been working for the Defence Forces for the past 17 years, while his wife works part time and cares for their children.
The mum, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Leinster Leader that they have secured a house in Kildare town and hoped to get the keys some time next week.
After sharing their heartbreaking story with the nation, a housing agency made contact with the couple last week and they went to look at it.
“It’s a house for life,” the woman said. “We’re super super happy. We’ll get the keys next week and be in before August 31.
“We’re ecstatic - we just can’t believe it," she told the Leinster Leader.
Previously the family told Independent.ie that they were struggling to get by on their salaries.
"It sounds so silly and simple when I say it out loud: a full time working soldier and a woman part-time working in a shop and we’re on HAP (Housing Assistance Payment),” she told Independent.ie.
"We’re working people. I would’ve worked more hours – the child care is way too expensive. I have to work when I can and I have to be home for my kids," she added.
She said the pay in the Defence Forces is "dreadful" and added that her husband has been subject to pay cuts.
Since cuts in 2009, basic pay for a private in the Defence Forces starts at €352 a week and rises after eight years’ service to a total package of €670 a week.
"That’s why we’re here. That’s why we qualify for the Housing Assistance Payment (HAP)," the woman said. .
This family can now pay €1,200 per month for rented accommodation but some landlords and estate agents had deemed the family unsuitable due to the HAP scheme.
The family were left facing homelessness when their landlord informed them that he was selling the house.
Then mum said this was their first time using the HAP scheme and they have found it extremely difficult to get viewings.
The family are now overjoyed that they have been given a house and look forward to moving into their new home.