Widow has been on housing waiting list for 27 years

Fiona O'Loughlin who has been on the council housing waiting list for 26 years

A RECENTLY widowed Limerick woman who claims she is an approved applicant on the council housing waiting list for the past 27 years, says she is still waiting for the local authority to provide her with a home.

Fiona O’Loughlin, (51), showed a letter she received from Limerick City and County Council in 2020, stating she has been an approved applicant on the housing waiting list since February 2005.

However Ms O’Loughlin said her original application was in May 1995.

The letter, signed by a representative of the Council’s housing support services, stated Ms O’Loughlin would be “considered along with all qualified applicants for any suitable vacancies that may arise in her area of choice of Dublin Road and Ballysimon”.

Ms O’Loughlin, who is a chronic asthmatic and was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD) has been living with her 23-year-old daughter in a three-bedroom house through the Rental Accommodation Scheme (RAS).

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She said her partner of 15 years died of stomach cancer seven weeks ago and that their current home is damp, cold and no longer suitable for her and her daughter.

Ms O’Loughlin said: “I’m on the housing waiting list 27 years in May. I applied for one of the houses on Mulgrave Street over a year ago and the Council never contacted me about it. There are people I know who are on the waiting list only one or two years and they have all got new houses”.

“I’m on the housing list since 1995. I don’t know why they won’t assist me, I just don’t know. I can only afford the rent on the place we are staying through RAS.”

“The rain comes in the back porch and all the wall out there is falling away from all the dampness.”

“I had an interview with the Council ten weeks ago and they called up to see the house, but my partner went into hospital on the same day and he died three weeks later on December 10.”

“It was cancer. He didn’t know he had it as he was being treated for a peptic ulcer and acid reflux. He was just 62 and we were together 15 years.”

“It is a big loss for me, and not being able to get a council house after all these years, on top of it all, I feel like I’m in limbo, I’m sick of it.”

“People are on the list two or three years and are getting houses and I can’t get a house and I’m on the waiting list over 26 years.

“I rang the Council again and they can’t give me an answer. Myself and my partner and my daughter we were all previously approved for housing and we were all Garda vetted, so I just don’t know.”

A spokesperson for Limerick City Council stated: “Limerick City and County Council does not comment on cases relating to a person as it doesn’t believe that it right to discuss an individual’s personal situation in such a public forum.”

“The Council’s Customer Services department is open for tenants or customers to discuss their situations or raise their issues. It is important that the Council is informed when a person’s circumstances change.”