Monday 19 February 2018

All Fairfield Park residents housed

Evicted tenants have all found alternative accommodation

Fairfield Park.
Fairfield Park.

Mary Fogarty

All residents of Fairfield Park have now been housed, it emerged last week at Greystones Municipal District.

Fairfield Park in Greystones has provided private rented accommodation to households since 1973. However, in August 2016, 48 households were issued with Notice to Quit with an effective date of August 31, 2017.

At last Tuesdays meeting, members heard that this presented a significant added challenge to Wicklow County Council, with over 3,200 on the housing list and over 500 homeless presentations per year.

The council engaged with the landlord and the residents and engaged the services of a housing support worker from the Simon Community.

Each household was assessed to determine housing need and the support worker ensured that all eligible households were registered for social housing support.

They also ensured that eligible households would receive rent supplement or HAP where appropriate and actively engaged with landlords and agents to create rental opportunities.

All residents were interviewed, their initial assessment completed and a priority list was devised which informed the proposed exit pathway for each household.

Of the 52 units at Fairfield Park, 48 were occupied. The residents included seven couples, 41 singles, and of the couples, there were six families with seven dependents or children.

A site clinic was set up with a constant presence from Dublin Simon and visiting support from Wicklow County Council. This greatly facilitated the residents, many of whom were elderly and/or infirm and had been resident in Fairfield Park since the 1970s.

Challenges facing the team included a lack of social network supports for some residents, and the lack of housing availability and affordability, as well as accessing a deposit and first month's rent.

The team liaised with social workers, gardaí, legal services, Tusla, medical and addiction services, Department of Social Protection and Approved Housing Bodies. The Homeless Team, the HAP/RAS team and the Allocations Officer were significantly involved in this process.

Tenancy sustainment and continuation of support services to the more vulnerable of the residents accommodated is critical and ongoing.

Members heard at last week's Municipal District meeting that feedback from all the clients assisted into alternative accommodation has been extremely positive and all have expressed their satisfaction with the holistic, supportive and enabling support services provided by the council in this case.

The households moved to a mix of social housing, private rented accommodation, to family, rental schemes, and purchased housing. Sadly, two residents have died.

Bray People

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