Housing Crisis – Sinead

“We lived in the property for 13 years, where I raised my three children following a breakup. I was working full-time and I never missed a rent payment. During our tenancy, we had little communication or visits from the landlord, so I took on the responsibility of maintaining the property until it became mouldy and damp beyond my control. Despite attempts to communicate the issue and request a solution, I was met with resistance. As a result, my children developed asthma and eczema, leading me to contact Threshold for help. Despite their advice, I hesitated for months, afraid of losing our home. Eventually, the landlord sent an engineer, who happened to be their brother-in-law. His assessment confirmed that the property required significant renovations, forcing us to vacate. As a full-time working single mother, finding a new home within our budget proved impossible. Their focus was solely on getting us out, ignoring any other potential solutions. Following Threshold’s advice, I challenged their eviction notice and took a case against them. Unfortunately, they eventually ruled in the landlord’s favour. I tried to shield my children from the situation, but when the day of the eviction finally arrived, I had no choice but to tell them. It was the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do, feeling like a complete failure for not being able to provide a roof over our heads. Initially, we were housed in a hostel for about six weeks. During this time, Focus Ireland was able to connect with us. I must say that their social workers deserve more recognition for the amazing work they do for people. They provided incredible support during this challenging time. We were fortunate to eventually secure housing through the council. However, I strongly believe that the government should not allow families to go through such difficulties. Ireland needs to find a way to prevent homelessness for those who are not at fault. The current system is a nightmare to navigate and can cause severe damage to people’s mental health.”