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Dublin: 13 °C Thursday 18 July, 2019
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Homeless couple spend night in tent outside Regency Hotel after dispute over room

The family said they were evicted after complaining about mould in their room.

Image: Irish Housing Network

A HOMELESS FAMILY who were thrown out from their emergency accommodation over issues with staff have been re-homed in alternative accommodation.

Lauren Rice and her family camped outside the Regency Hotel last night – where they had been staying after becoming homeless - after they said they were evicted.

Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Rice said that she had been living in the Regency for the past three months with her partner Aiden and their two young daughters (both aged under two).

Rice said that the room they had been staying in was full of mould and that this had contributed to her youngest daughter becoming sick.

She said that she had raised this issue with the company that manages the homeless accommodation at the hotel on behalf of Dublin City Council, R&G Administration

13393934_1126498947416819_4790272540715169205_n Pictures of the mould that Rice said was on the walls of her room. Source: Irish Housing Network

“We asked them to move room and they wouldn’t do anything for us,” said Rice.

She said that following an argument between herself and management at the hotel, she walked out.

“I got a phone call 15 minutes later from the council saying that my bed had been cancelled,” she said.

The council said that her bed had been cancelled due to “abusive behaviour”, according to Rice.

In a statement, the Dublin Regional Homeless Executive (the homelessness department of Dublin City Council) said that an incident had occurred “which gave rise to substantial health and safety concerns for staff providing accommodation for families in the hotel”.

DCC and the DRHE is very mindful that the experience of homelessness can lead to stressful circumstances, however the health and safety of staff is also a factor which we must have regard for.

Camping out

Following the incident, Rice staged a protest with a number of activists from the Irish Housing Network. She said that she had nowhere to spend the night with her two baby daughters.

About 20 people camped outside the Regency last night in support of Rice and her family – including the couple themselves.

13428386_1126644387402275_557455441421583432_n People camped outside the Regency Hotel last night. Source: Irsh Housing Network

This morning, Rice said that following their protest she has been offered alternative accommodation for her family in Coolock by Dublin City Council.

“Thank God we got somewhere,” she said.

I’m happy I got a place to stay with my two kids.

She said that there were no offers of accommodation forthcoming from the council until they staged the protest.

The DRHE said today that it had “made numerous offers of alternative emergency accommodation” to the family following the incident at the hotel.

A spokesperson for the Regency Hotel said that it had no involvement with the day-to-day management of homeless people staying there, and directed queries to the management company, R&G Administration.

TheJournal.ie has contacted R&G Administration for comment.

Read: Family ordered to leave vacant council house they moved into without permission

Read: Court hears of homeless drug addict turning his life around while in prison

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About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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