Mother of deaf child in countdown to homelessness

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Karen Kenneally with her children Robyn (1) and James (3) outside the apartment at Steamboat Quay. Picture: Gareth Williams

A MOTHER with two children, one of whom is deaf, has less than three weeks to go to the day when they will be evicted from their home.

Karen Kenneally has been issued with an eviction notice from her apartment at Steamboat Quay but has been told there is no social housing available for her and her sons, James (3) and Robyn (1).

The property where there family are currently living is in new ownership and the new landlord needs to renovate the apartment.

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Over the past week, Karen has had 20 rejections from landlords advertising properties on the Daft.ie online property website and, after a meeting with officials in the housing section of Limerick City and County Council, she has been advised that the areas in which she requested housing – Caherdavin, Dooradoyle and Castletroy – are unlikely to be available.

“I signed up for those areas before anyone told me they are the hardest to get social housing in and now the council says that it will be a year before I can change my mind.

“My son is going to the school for the deaf in Rosbrien and learning sign language so it would be good if we could stay close to there but right now I would take a house anywhere,” Karen told the Limerick Post.

The young mother is in receipt of Housing Assistance Payment (HAP) and has a deposit, with no marks against her as a tenant.

“Novas and the other agencies have been fantastic. They are trying to help us but it’s like coming up against a wall. It seems like the only way our housing emergency will be considered a housing emergency is for us to be homeless and living in a bed and breakfast.

“With two small children, I live in dread of that situation.

“This is taking over every waking minute of my life. I’m not the kind of person to sit back and do nothing but everything I’ve done to try to get somewhere to live has come to nothing. I don’t know where to turn,” she concluded.

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