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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 20 September, 2019
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Pensioners could face jail over housing eviction

Martin and Violet Coyne face homelessness after alternative accommodation falls through.

Image: rent via shutterstock

TWO PENSIONERS FACE the prospect of homelessness or imprisonment ahead of a court battle to stay in their residence.

Martin Coyne (73) and his wife Violet Coyne (63) are currently resident in Castleknock, Dublin. They are due to return to court on August 27.

Last month, the pair were offered a home by an Irish woman living in the United States. Pam McMahon, originally from County Meath, offered the family home after hearing about the couples plight. The Coynes were unable to move into the house after it was found to be uninhabitable.

The house is set to be repossessed by a receiver for ACC Bank. The Coynes are currently working with the Anti-Austerity Alliance on finding a solution. The eviction order came about after the owner of the property defaulted on the mortgage.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Martin Coyne said: “We’ve been living here for fifteen years, and we’ve never failed to pay the rent. We were only renting the property you see. It would have been the landlord who paid the mortgage and it appears he wasn’t.”

The couple have been offered a hostel or hotel as alternative accommodation by Fingal County Council. Due to the rising cost of rents, the rent allowance is insufficient to cover a new property.

“We’ve been around everywhere. 99% of them will not accept rent allowance. I’ve been everywhere. There is nobody who will accept rent allowance. The rent around here now has gone up to 1,400, 1,500, 1,600 a month.”

The couple currently face jail over failure to meet a court order to vacate the property by the 22nd of this month.

Martin Coyne has been on the housing list with Fingal County Council for the past four years but has been told that a residence may not be available for another three to four years.

“We are up in court on the 27th of this month, I have no doubt the judge is going to order us out… we have no where to go. The wealthy get away with murder while they punish the poor. We’d be better off if Idi Amin was running the country.”

On the potential eviction, Ruth Coppinger TD said: “Banks are upping the ante now as property prices rise in a mad rush for sales to improve their books. But people are living in these properties for years and have nowhere else to go. The Coynes are innocent victims”.

Read: Homeless pensioner: ‘I want to live the rest of my life with some dignity’

Read: 39 families were made homeless in July in Dublin alone

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