Homeless pensioner I want to live the rest of my life with

first_imgUpdated 3.17pmTHE CASE OF a pensioner couple facing eviction from their rented home is ‘far from an isolated incident’, according to Alone, a charity for older people.Martin and Violet Coyne have been living at a house in Castleknock for 15 years but it is now being repossessed by a receiver. They have been unable to find anywhere else to rent on rent allowance and there is no social housing currently available to them.They were told that the Free Legal Aid service would not be able to help them because they are booked up and if they refuse to leave the house, they could face jail time.Local Anti-Austerity Alliance councillor Sandra Kavanagh, who was part of a protest against the planned eviction this morning, branded the attempt to evict the elderly couple as “scandalous”.“The choice is simple here: evict these pensioners – and put them in hotels or hostels at the taxpayer’s expense – or let them remain in this house paying rent to the receiver for the bank,” she said.‘Dignity’Commenting on this case, Sean Moynihan, CEO of Alone, the charity for older people, said it is “far from an isolated incident”.“Older people in Dublin City are being pushed to the wayside in an increasingly competitive housing market that they can’t afford to compete in. It is reprehensible that older people who have worked hard all their lives and consistently paid their rent are being put into situations of stress, anxiety and fear.”The charity revealed  that for every older person they are able to house, they are turning away another 29.One man on the waiting list, a 63-year-old, was raised in an institution and has no family. He suffered from high blood pressure and stress caused by his unsafe living conditions. For the last 35 years he has been living in a small, one-room apartment that has no fire exit.At present I could be dead in the house and no one would know. A small, secure home would mean the world to me.A 63-year-old woman the charity works with, who has physical health issues, became homeless after her privvate rented accommodation was repossessed by the bank. She currently lives in short-term emergency accommodation as she can not get a private rented home.“I feel I can’t live a proper life moving from place to place. I would like to live the rest of my life with some dignity,” she said.The charity said these are just some of the older people living through the housing crisis and the situation will continue until the government takes real action.Case by caseResponding to the news today, the Department of Social Protection said that where a house is placed into receivership, “the receiver is not obligated to continue the previous landlord’s lease arrangement”.However it said that officials have “considerable experience” in dealing with the rent supplement scheme and have discretionary powers to award a supplement if a person is homeless or at risk of losing their tenancy. This is done on a “case by case basis”.The department added that it was working with local authorities in the Dublin area in view of current housing supply difficulties to try to keep families off the streets.Read: ‘The government needs to act now’: Demand for homeless service up 25%>Read: Protesters force cancellation of property auction on “health & safety” grounds>last_img read more