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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Nicola Donnelly

Young Irish family fear they will be on the streets in days

A young dad says his family are facing homlessness after their planned eviction from their home of 11 years on Friday.

Alan Fitzpatrick, 37, his wife Kelly, 30, and their three dependent children Katie, 17, Jack, 10 and Bobby, six, now fear they will have to spend the weekend on the streets - just before the children start back at school on Monday.

Their plight comes as updated homeless figures due out on Friday are likely to be the highest figures on record.

Read More: Landlords set to get tax break to stop them from leaving Ireland's rental market

The Fitzpatrick family have been living in a house in Clondalkin, Dublin 22 under the Housing Assistant Payment scheme (HAP) for the past 11 years.

The couple, who are both unemployed, said they have been on South Dublin County Council housing list for 11 and a half years.

In January, they were informed by the landlord they would have to vacate the property by Friday, August 26.

And since January, Alan and Kelly have been searching for suitable alternative accommodation but to no avail.

“I’ve been onto local TDs, South Dublin County Council. I’ve sent them videos of our children crying about having to leave their home and the area they live in and go to school in. We just don’t know where we are going to go,” Alan told The Star yesterday.

Alan said an offer of emergency accommodation in Westmeath was given to them but this would be a three-hour 14-minute two-bus trip to bring the children to the school in Clondalkin that they are enrolled in.

“That would mean getting up at 4am to get the kids to school,” Alan said.

“No one is helping us and by Friday we are out of the house. We will have to ring around again on Friday for accommodation but we fear we won’t have anywhere to go and will end up on the streets just days before the children go back to school.

“We’ve been selling off all our furniture as we know we will be on the streets by the weekend,” Alan, who had a hip operation several years ago, said.

“I feel politicians in general aren't doing enough for the homeless crisis,” Alan said, adding he “calls some everyday and they are either on annual leave, don’t work weekends and don’t even read my messages I sent. They go home to their families and homes on their big wages and nothing seems to be done to solve this housing crisis.”

“They tell us to do a three month hold over but where does that leave us? It leaves us in the same position we are in except it will be Christmas week we will be out on the streets. That’s no solution,” he said.

Alan said he even looked into paying for a hotel for him and his family - but shockingly discovered a local hotel was charging over €5,000 for them to stay in the premises for just two weeks.

“The kids are in tears all the time, saying goodbye to their friends, and I just feel we will end up walking the streets this weekend. We have nowhere to go. My kids are completely heartbroken.”

In a statement to The Star, Focus Ireland said they are seeing more people who are having trouble making ends meet and are consequently in danger of losing their homes.

“Most of these individuals already get a HAP payment, which is meant to cover their housing needs but is blatantly failing to do so. They can receive some assistance from our competent front-line workers, but we are constantly up against ineffective policies. Affordable housing is essential for decreasing poverty in addition to further HAP measures as many households in Ireland are now in danger of poverty due to high housing costs,” a spokesperson for Focus Ireland said.


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