The reality of government failure

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An extract from a dossier titled ‘Humans of the Housing Crisis’ prepared by Sinn Féin of suffering in Ireland as a result of the housing crisis. It was compiled from submissions received by the party over six days from Tuesday 3rd December.

 

I am a mother of three. We have been living in a one bedroom B&B accommodation for 16 months. This is our second Christmas here. My son has autism. His behaviour is challenging. He hits, kicks and spits. We have breakfast in the morning here in the B&B. But I can’t bring him to the dining room for breakfast because of his behaviour. We all sit on the floor in the bedroom to eat. We have no access to the kitchen so we eat take away.

 

I have two children aged one and a half and two and a half. I have been homeless for the past 13 months. I am currently living in a family hub. Before we went there they put us into a hotel. The conditions there were shocking. They gave me a dirt-riddled cot for my eight month old. There was a broken socket that they had covered with cellotape.

Myself and both my children are finding it extremely difficult living in the family hub being confined to such a small space. I don’t feel my children are meeting all of their needs fully and neither am I as an adult. Since living in the hub I have only been to two viewings as it is extremely hard to try and find rented accommodation. There is constantly sickness in the hub so I find it hard to let my children outside to play. I am a single mother and I cannot afford for both my children to be sick.

We have to share communal washing machines that are very hard to get use of most times. I have had staff walk into my room while I was only out of a shower. I have had staff enter my room on two occasions while I wasn’t there which I feel is a major invasion of privacy.

Myself and my children have witnessed violence in the communal area. This is another reason why I refuse to let them outside of our room as they are way too young to be witnessing this sort of behaviour.

I am humiliated to tell people where I live and I don’t feel as though I am part of a normal society. I have had to go to counselling sessions and have been prescribed anti-depressants by my doctor to help me deal with living in the family hub. It is making me extremely depressed especially coming up to Christmas.

This is my second year having to ask family members if I can stay with them for Christmas just to make it feel somewhat normal for my children. That alone as a mother is humiliating for me, that I can’t provide a safe warm home for us. When I ask my son where do we live he says “in the room”. That is heart-breaking for me to hear those words.

I hope my story reaches you as I am sure there are many people in my position who want to get their story heard. If so I am thanking you for reading this and I hope my story gets to the Dáil as we need to be heard and listened to.

 

I’m a retired soldier with five adults and my grandson living in my house. My daughter has been on the housing list in since my grandson was born in 2004 and still no offer of accommodation.

 

My daughter, her husband and two children are in a hotel room, which is better than nothing but it has only one bed in it for all four of them to sleep in. They certainly don’t get any breakfast, no cooking or laundry facilities and both children are asthmatic

 

Was in another place and had to be out by new years. Was given a place for six months and still here six years later. Damp all over it, walls falling in and two sick kids with damp in their room.

 

10 people living in a three bedroom house . Joke big time.

 

My niece is living in a hub. She was a year in a hotel with a one and two year old. Then back to a hotel with a new born baby. Five people in a hotel room, now in a hub with three small babies in one room again.

 

My son has been waiting on a council house for ten years. He has two kids and could be homeless any day now as the landlord is selling the property

 

I’m 42 and have one son. My name has been on the housing list since I was 18 years old. In 2012 the council told me they couldn’t find my records and made me start the points system all over again. I’m still awaiting a place I can call my own

 

I was 12 years on the list and living in a damp, mouldy, cold house.

 

I’m living at home because I’m newly disabled and I’ve had to apply for disability allowance twice. I’ve had to go private and spend all my savings to get the help I need. And now in a few months when my family move I don’t know where I’m going to live.

 

I’ve been in homeless accommodation for five years. I’m in a night shelter which opens at 6.30pm. I have to leave at 10am. I have nowhere to go. We have no family. I walk around doing nothing all day waiting to go back in at 6.30 pm. I have being looking for HAP and never get any luck. I’ve been to viewings and never get called back.

My mental health is terrible. I suffer from anxiety and depression. I was 29 when I became homeless. I’m nearly 34 now. I have no life. This will be my fifth Christmas stuck in a little room, no Christmas trees, no nothing. Just waking up to still being homeless and then starting another year with no place to call home. A dog would be treated better

 

My friends can’t get a house. One has four children and has been on the waiting list for ten years. The other has two children, one with special needs.

 

One of the worst things I found is that because of the housing shortage, you can’t complain about the accommodation you have. There is nowhere to go if things go wrong and the greedy landlords have you trapped and can get away with anything. I lived in a bedsit and the water tank in the house started overflowing and pouring into my bedsit apartment. It poured down the walls, flooded the carpet and bed. The landlords came to fix it after two weeks because they were on holiday. When they stopped the water overflow they left the bedsit apartment with all the water damage and black mould to grow up the walls.

 

In my house there is myself and husband, my 23 year old son, my daughter and her two children and my other daughter, her husband and their three children - twins of 13 months and her new baby of one month. All in a four bed house, that’s eleven people living in a house with four bedrooms and five of them are little children.

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