THE appalling plight of a young couple who are paying €150 per week to rent a small flat and have just over €60 a week left over for everyday items and to rear a child with special needs – with another baby on the way – has been highlighted by a concerned Kerry County Council member.
Cllr Michael Cahill said the family – whose location cannot be divulged to protect their privacy – is on a waiting list for a council house and he described their situation as “a real life story of deprivation”.
He said the couple is dealing with ADHD and dyslexia and they rearing a baby with another on the way. Neither of them can drive and their only support – the young woman’s parents – live 40km away.
“They pay €150 per week rent for a small two-bedroomed flat which has a broken washing machine, no drier and no garden access for drying clothes. There is no facility either for garbage collection which means they must get a weekly drive to the local dump,” he said.
Cllr Cahill said the couple are paying close on €50 a week for electricity and they survive on disability allowance which leaves them with about €66 to survive the week.
“Now that a second baby is on the way, this couple urgently require to be housed closer to her parents. Their present flat does not have room for a second cot,” Cllr Cahill said.
They have applied for a housing assistance payment as they have been told they fulfill the criteria but due to a non-cooperative landlord, they cannot finalise the application, he maintained.
The Fianna Fail councillor has called for a tightening up of landlord inspection procedures.
Is it right that a landlord can get away with treating tenants in such a cavalier fashion? No it is not. It is high time that we forced these vultures out of business as they are living off the misfortune of the less well off,” he fumed.
Cllr Cahill said those lucky enough to own their homes can’t imagine what it is like to be on what seems to be a never-ending housing list and paying out dead money to a landlord for “deadbeat accommodation”.
“We all know that there are highly deserving cases on our housing lists but this is one of those cases that would draw tears from a stone,” he said.
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