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Turfed Out

Families face eviction so homes can be used for social housing

The fifteen families are expected to leave their homes before Christmas.

FIFTEEN FAMILIES LIVING in a Dublin housing estate face eviction before Christmas because receivers are selling their rented homes to be used for social housing.

The landlord of the houses in the Red Arches estate in Baldoyle has gone into receivership and families late last month were issued with letters terminating their tenancies.

Mother of three Helen McDonald told she “cried for five days” when she received the news that her family would have to leave the house by 15 December. She has been living in the house since 2012 with her husband Steve, her two boys aged six and four, and her 16-month-old daughter.

Since receiving the letter, she said they have tried to find a new house in the area to move into but they are now priced out of the market. Their two sons attend the local school so they want to remain in Baldoyle.

“We went to a house last Thursday and the lady told us we were high on the list to get it but there were 55 people in to look at the house,” she said. “One of the girls [whose tenancy has also been terminated] told me she went to see a house and someone had six months’ rent up front – we’ll never be in a position to do that.”

Disrupting family life

They have lodged a complaint with the Private Residential Tenancies Board and McDonald said they plan to fight for as long as possible to remain in their home.

It has been a particularly difficult year for the family, as their baby girl suffered a head injury in a freak accident at a very young age. A golf ball that was stuck in an electric mower at the local park shot out of the blades and struck her on the head. She has epilepsy as a result and has regular seizures.

“We don’t want to disrupt our family life,” the mother of three commented. “Because the baby has epilepsy, she needs to be in her own environment and her own routine.”

We’ve had a pretty rough year already and this has just tipped it over.

Social housing

A spokesperson for National Asset Management Agency (Nama) told that these properties are being sold to the local authority and an approved body for social housing.

The agency stressed that its role in all of this was as the owner of the loans and it is the receiver who is actually selling the houses.

As a secured lender, NAMA actively encourages all receivers to work with the prospective purchasers of properties being made available for social housing and the existing tenants to find appropriate solutions.

“It is NAMA’s policy that where assets securing the Agency’s loans are being sold, existing contractual rental obligations are honoured in so far as is legally possible by the sellers of that property.”

First posted at 3.30pm

Read: This letter threatens tenants with eviction if they don’t pay water charges>

Read: ‘Pyjama couple’ appear in court again>

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