Cork family will be homeless after 13 years on housing list

Cork family will be homeless after 13 years on housing list

Marie O’Sullivan and her family are facing becoming homeless. Picture: Larry Cummins

A CORK family of four became homeless today despite being on the housing list for 13 years.

Marie O' Sullivan - who is in permanent employment - and her husband, daughter (7) and son (16) faced a decision between splitting the family up and staying with different relatives or presenting themselves at Drinan St HSE homeless services.

Even then, the family could still be split up as Ms O'Sullivan's husband may be placed in male-only accommodation while she and her kids are housed elsewhere.

The family have been privately renting a property for the last five years - and have never been on rent assistance - but the landlord is now selling the house in Ballyvolane.

They cannot find suitable affordable accommodation where their kids have grown up and currently go to school.

Ms O'Sullivan said her daughter is currently suffering from a kidney infection and a high temperature and she is dreading having to move her from the home she has known for the last five years.

“How am I supposed to move a sick child out today to God knows where? We've been trying to ring around B&Bs and hotels to sort out accommodation but they are mostly booked up. We found one place where we can stay Wednesday and Thursday but we'll have to leave on Patrick's Day,” she said.

“It's unbelievable, if you're not personally involved, you wouldn't be able to contemplate things going this far. We've been through a nightmare.

“Shipping my sick daughter around from place to place, I can't do that to her. It's breaking my heart and it's hard to cope.

“A solicitor, Anne McShane, has reached out to me and is helping us. Cork City Council have told her that they have referred to their legal department but that they have to follow policy and procedure.” 

“Threshold and the Simon Community have also been in contact but there is nothing they can do at this point,” she added.

The family's possessions are boxed up and ready to be moved either to relatives' houses or a storage unit.

Ms O'Sullivan said her husband, daughter and son are all very stressed with the associated anxiety of becoming homeless.

Since the family's story was first reported on by the Evening Echo last week, Ms O'Sullivan has appeared on local and national radio but has yet to receive any direct communication from either Cork City Council or her landlord on the matter.

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